Strongest typhoon this year: Tisoy leaves 2 dead, shuts Manila airport

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 03 2019 04:12 PM | Updated as of Dec 03 2019 05:21 PM

Children play by the seawall as strong waves brought by Typhoon Kammuri surge high along the coastline in Legazpi City in the province of Albay, Philippines on Tuesday. December 3, 2019. Typhoon Kammuri brought heavy rains and strong winds as it made its first landfall on Monday evening in Sorsogon province. Basilio H. Sepe, Greenpeace handout

MANILA -- Two people were killed after the Philippines' strongest typhoon so far this year, Tisoy (Kammuri), tore through Luzon, shutting the capital's main airport, displacing thousands and causing blackouts.

A man fell while clearing his backyard while the second fatality was hit by the collapsed kitchen roof, Oriental Mindoro Governor Hurmelito Dolor told ANC.

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport was shut at 11 a.m. due to anticipated "destructive" winds of up to 120 kph. Some 480 flights were affected by the closure, which was scheduled to last until 11 p.m., authorities said.

Classes in all levels and work in government offices were suspended in areas on the path of Tisoy, which slammed into the Sorsogon province on the southern tip of the Bicol Peninsula late Monday night with up to 275 kph gusts.

Some events in the 30th Southeast Asian Games were postponed. The Philippines' fourth hosting of the biennial sports fest will run until Dec. 11.

Tisoy crossed the Sibuyan Sea before slamming into Mindoro Island Tuesday afternoon with maximum sustained winds of 140 kph and 195 kph gusts, weakening from the initial landfall. It was the strongest storm so far this year in terms of wind speed, PAGASA forecaster Anna Clauren told ABS-CBN News.

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The storm was forecast to bring "continuous heavy to intense rains" in Southern Luzon, Central Luzon and Metro Manila for most of Tuesday afternoon and "frequent to continuous heavy with isolated intense rains" until Wednesday morning, weather bureau PAGASA said.

"The wind is howling. Roofs are being torn off and I saw one roof flying," storm survivor Gladys Castillo Vidal told AFP. "We decided to stay because our house is a two-story made of concrete... Hopefully it can withstand the storm."

In Santa Margarita, Samar, 2 people were hurt after they were hit by storm debris while another was hit by a collapsed wall. Landslides and floods were reported in Motiong and Jiabong towns in Samar, and Lapinig and Mapanas in Northern Samar.

In Albay, the airport in the capital city, Legazpi, was damaged. Some 100,000 were evacuated to escape the threat of lahar, big waves, floods and landslides, said the province's disaster office head Cedric Daep.

The Filipino-Chinese consortium that operates the Philippines' power grid, NGCP, said Tuesday it was prepared to restore its infrastructure in case of damage.

The NGCP prepared pre-fabricated blocks and steel pieces that can be used to rebuild fallen towers "in just a few days," said National Grid Corp spokesperson Cynthia Alabanza.

The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons each year, killing hundreds and putting people in disaster-prone areas in a state of constant poverty.

The country's deadliest cyclone on record was Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,300 people dead or missing in 2013.

2019 SEA Games