Fast-moving Typhoon Kalmaegi blows out of Philippines, moves toward southern China



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MANILA, Philippines — A fast-moving typhoon blew out of the northern Philippines on Monday, leaving at least two people dead and setting off floods and landslides. Eight other people died when big waves and strong winds from the storm sank a stalled ferry over the weekend.

The government weather bureau said Typhoon Kalmaegi was over the South China Sea on Monday afternoon, about 488 kilometers (303 miles) west of northern Laoag city and moving northwest toward southern China at 30 kilometers per hour (19 miles per hour). The storm, which slammed into land Sunday, had sustained winds of 130 kph (80 mph) and gusts of 150 kph (93 mph).

It is expected to make landfall in southern China around midday Tuesday.

A baby was pinned to death when a huge tree fell on a house in the Philippines' Cagayan province late Sunday, while a landslide killed a construction worker in a tent in Nueva Vizcaya province as fierce winds and rain pounded the northern region, officials said.

Before hitting land, the typhoon whipped up big waves that sank a stalled ferry off Southern Leyte province in the central Philippines late Saturday.

Rescuers plucked 110 survivors from the rough waters and recovered eight bodies after the ferry sank. At least one person remains missing, said government spokeswoman Annette Villaces of Surigao city, where the survivors and bodies were taken.

Schools in five regions, including metropolitan Manila, were suspended Monday and dozens of flights were canceled. Hundreds of ship passengers were stranded in ports.

Some 7,800 residents were moved to evacuation centers at the height of the typhoon, but many returned home after the weather cleared.

Typhoon Kalmaegi, the Korean word for seagull, slammed into the boundary of northeastern Cagayan and Isabela provinces and scythed across Luzon island without causing major damage, officials said. Several provinces, however, lost power.

Alexander Pama, who heads the government's disaster mitigation agency, said constant warnings and pre-emptive steps by officials prevented a large number of casualties.

Residents in at least nine northern provinces, which have been drenched by days of rains, were earlier warned to take precautions and stay away from already soggy mountainsides and swollen rivers.

Kalmaegi was the 12th weather disturbance to batter the Philippines this year. The calamity-prone archipelago is lashed by about 20 storms each year.

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