Typhoon Kalmaegi, packing winds of 120 kph (75 mph) at its center,
with some gusts of up to 150 kph, was moving into the South China
Sea, and was expected to leave by Monday night.
Kalmaegi, known locally as "Luis", was spotted 455 kms (283 miles)
west of Laoag City in Ilocos Norte province shortly after mid-day,
moving at 30 kph toward southern China.
Thousands of people who were temporarily displaced were starting to
return home, said Alexander Pama, the chief of a national rescue
panel, adding that no casualty had been reported.
"Some areas in the north are still without electricity, like Kalinga
and Apayao provinces, but our emergency workers are working to
restore power," said Pama, the executive director of the National
Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Rescue officials were also getting reports of extensive damage to
rice farms, he added, but declined to give estimates.
"We are still assessing the actual damage, how many hectares were
affected and how much was lost," Pama added.
About a fifth of rice output and just under a third of corn
production in the northeastern province of Isabela are at risk of
being damaged or destroyed by the typhoon, its governor, Faustino "Bodjie"
Dy, said.Before the typhoon, the Cagayan Valley region, of which
Isabela forms a part, was forecast to produce 341,540 tonnes of
unhusked rice, or about a tenth of projected national output, in the
July-September quarter, the national statistics body said.
Its third-quarter production of corn was projected at 520,235 tonnes,
or about 22 percent of the national total.
Pama was cautious because the central government has yet to receive
complete reports from the provinces, with power and communications
links severed in some areas.
Landslides and flash floods forced the closure of 11 roads and three
bridges in the mountainous north. Some public offices and all
schools were shut closed as typhoon alerts were lowered.
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Forty-three domestic flights were grounded by civil aviation
authorities while the coast guard halted ferries and fishing boats
from putting to sea.
"It was a miracle," Imee Marcos, daughter of former dictator
Ferdinand Marcos and governor of Ilocos Norte, said in a radio
"We survived a strong typhoon with minor damages. There were heavy
rain and strong winds, but we have no casualty."
In the central Philippines, three people died and 113 were rescued
when a domestic ferry sank on Saturday after suffering mechanical
trouble six miles off San Ricardo in southern Leyte province.
Another ferry capsized in Manila Bay in strong winds and huge waves
unleashed by the typhoon, but all 15 crew were rescued.
(Reporting by Manuel Mogato and Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by
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