Twenty-three people were missing on Monday as Typhoon Labuyo (international codename: Utor) struck the Philippines, dumping heavy rains in remote mountain villages and the densely populated Manila.
All of the missing people were fishermen who went to sea on the east coast of Luzon where Labuyo approached over the weekend, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.
The Philippines is battered by an average of 20 typhoons or storms a year, many of them deadly.
The weather bureau said that Labuyo, packing gusts of 200 kilometers per hour, was the strongest storm of the year.
It made landfall in the mountainous north of Luzon at 3:00am on Monday
At about 8:30 am, the storm was sweeping the northern province of Nueva Vizcaya and was expected to remain over the northern regions all Monday, before moving out to the West Philippine Sea.
In Manila, the nation’s capital, roughly 250 kilometers to the south, there was heavy rain overnight but no major flooding.
With more rain expected, many schools across the capital were closed on Monday. AFP