MANILA – At least 10,122 people were evacuated from their homes on Luzon Island in the northernmost part of the Philippines owing to the passage of Typhoon Yutu on Tuesday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.
In the Cagayan region, where Yutu entered the Philippines on Tuesday morning, around 7,400 people were moved to 31 evacuation centers.
NDRRMC director Ricardo Jalad said in a press conference that the authorities were prepared as Yutu hit the Philippines with sustained winds of 205 kph (127 mph) and gusts of 245 kph, almost the same strength as Typhoon Mangkhut, although it weakened before entering the country.
At 5:00 pm, Yutu was moving west at a speed of 25 kph with sustained winds of 125 kph and gusts of 190 kph, according to the latest bulletin by state weather agency Pagasa.
Yutu, locally dubbed Rosita, has weakened on its way toward the South China Sea after lashing the provinces of Isabella, Benguet and La Union, in northern Luzon.
A tropical cyclone warning signal number 3 is in place for only two provinces while for the remaining eight provinces where a number 3 warning had been issued, it has been reduced to number 2.
Meteorologists predict that the typhoon will leave Philippine territory in the next few hours but will remain in its area of responsibility until Wednesday afternoon.
Some 30 flights were canceled, leaving almost 2,000 passengers stranded at airports, and maritime transport was suspended throughout Luzon Island.
The areas affected by Yutu are the same ones, which in mid-September, were devastated by Typhoon Mangkhut – the most powerful storm of the season – when heavy rains caused landslides that left 100 people dead or missing.
Between 15-20 typhoons pass through the Philippines every year during the rainy season, which usually begins in May or June and ends in November or December.