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(MANILA) JUST IN: At least one person is dead and more than 100,000 others have been evacuated in the eastern and central Philippines as the strongest typhoon recorded in April tracks off the country’s coast.

#Ace Weather Desk says Typhoon #Surigae kills one, displaces more than 100,000 others as it rages off the Philippines coast as it records the strongest storm recorded

‘Typhoon #Surigae was tracking about 500 kilometres east of Infanta town in Quezon province on Monday evening’

Posted Yesterday at 4:28pm, updated Yesterday at 4:36pm

Man wades through flood waters
Typhoon Surigae is expected to move away from the Philippines on Thursday.(AP: FO1 Marianne Jabinal/San Policarpo Firestation)

It produced sustained winds of 195 kilometres per hour and gusts of up to 240 kph, causing flooding in low-lying communities.

It is forecast to slowly move north-west and then veer away from the northern Philippines around Thursday.

Vicente Malano, administrator of the government weather agency, said a high pressure area extending from China to Japan was blocking the typhoon from blowing inland.

“We’re lucky it’s not going to make landfall because if it hits land, it’s really going to be super devastating,” said Ariel Rojas from the weather agency.

Crews lifting a fence
While Typhoon Surigae isn’t expected to make landfall, it has forced thousands from their  homes.(AP: FO1 Marianne Jabinal/San Policarpo Firestation)

The typhoon’s 900-kilometre band of rain clouds and strong winds nevertheless flooded at least 22 villages and caused power outages in four provinces.

More than 3,200 people and 43 ferries and cargo ships were stranded in seaports after the coast guard suspended sea travel, local authorities said.

A 79-year-old man died in Southern Leyte province after being hit by a falling coconut tree, the Office of Civil Defence said.

Another villager in San Jose town in Northern Samar province was missing after he went to a nearby island in a motorboat to secure his farm animals, it said.

More than 29,300 families or 109,000 people were evacuated to emergency shelters as a precaution in five eastern provinces of the Bicol region.

Typhoon Surigae on a satellite image
Eastern Philippines has been worst affected by the typhoon. (AP: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS))

Mayors said they had to open more evacuation centres to ensure social distancing during the pandemic.

“It’s really tough, it’s toxic, but we have no choice,” Mayor Ann Gemma Ongjoco of Guinobatan town in Albay province said by telephone.

She said even churches were being used to shelter more than 6,100 villagers in her town, including many from communities threatened by mudflows from Mayon, one of the most active volcanoes in the archipelago.

About 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year.

AP/Reuters/Global News/ World Breaking News/

#AceWeatherDesk report ……Published: Apr.21: 2021:

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