Cyclone Kompasu strikes Philippines, kills 9

October 12, 2021

MANILA/HONG KONG — Nine people have been killed in the Philippines and 11 were missing on Tuesday due to floods and landslides caused by heavy rain from tropical cyclone Kompasu, the national disaster agency said.

Kompasu, with maximum sustained winds of 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour, had absorbed remnants of an earlier cyclone before making landfall in the Philippines on Monday evening. Nearly 1,600 people were evacuated, Reuters reported.

The disaster agency said it was verifying information from its regional units that reported four people killed in landslides in northern Benguet province and five killed in flash floods in Palawan, an island province in the country's southwest.

Authorities were conducting search and rescue operations for 11 people missing mostly after landslides.

The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,600 islands, is hit by about 20 storms or typhoons annually, bringing heavy rains that trigger deadly landslides.

President Rodrigo Duterte was monitoring the government's disaster response, his spokesperson, Harry Roque said on Tuesday.

Rescue personnel were at the scene, while power and water restoration and road clearing were ongoing, he added. Kompasu, the 13th tropical storm to enter the Philippines, is expected to leave its territory on Tuesday, the state weather agency said.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Observatory hoisted the T8 signal warning at 5:20 p.m. on Tuesday as the severe Tropical Cyclone Kompasu neared the city.

“With the combined effect of Kompasu and the northeast monsoon, strong to gale force northerly winds prevail over the coast of Guangdong,” the Observatory said.

According to the present forecast track, Kompasu will be closest to Hong Kong early tomorrow (Oct. 13) morning, skirting within 400 kilometers to the south of the territory.”

All schools have been suspended. The MTR put on extra trains, with ferry services set to halt before 7 p.m. Two district council-run temporary shelters will operate at the Lei Yue Mun Sports Centre and the Tai O Rural Committee Office during the storm.

The Labor Department urged all employers to make safe arrangements for employees: “[E]mployers should give prime consideration to employees’ safety and the feasibility for employees to travel to and from their workplaces.”

The Legislative Council also suspended its meetings ahead of the official notice. All COVID-19 vaccine centers have closed, whilst care centers for children and elderly run by the Social Welfare Department will also halt while the T8 signal is still in force.

Photos on social media showed empty shelves at supermarkets as Hongkongers stocked up on goods ahead of the storm. Long queues at supermarkets across the city have also been spotted.

A T8 signal warns of strong sustained winds of 63 to 117 kilometers per hour, and gusts, which may exceed 180 kilometers per hour. Hong Kong’s typhoon signals range from one to 10, with 10 being the most severe.

Strong winds and rain are predicted into the public holiday on Thursday, with the weather set to “improve slightly” over the weekend. — Agencies

October 12, 2021
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