Super Typhoon Noru, which hit the northern Philippines, left five rescue workers dead and homes flooded amidst a massive power outage on Monday. The officials were forced to suspend classes and offices in the capital and outlying provinces.
The most powerful typhoon to hit the country this year slammed into the coast in Burdeos town in Quezon province before Sunday nightfall.
Governor Daniel Fernando of Bulacan province, north of Manila, said five rescuers, who were using a boat to help residents trapped in floodwaters, were hit by a collapsed wall and then apparently drowned in the rampaging waters.
They were living heroes who were helping save the lives of our countrymen amid this calamity, Fernando told DZMM radio network. This is really very sad, he added.
The entire northern provinces of Aurora and Nueva Ecija, which were hit by the typhoon, remained without power Monday. The repair crews were at work to bring back electricity, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla told President Ferdinand Marcos Jr in a televised meeting that was called to assess damages and coordinate disaster response.
According to the officials, over 17,000 people were moved to emergency shelters from high-risk communities prone to tidal surges, flooding, and landslides in Quezon alone.
According to the weather agency, by Monday morning, Noru had sustained winds of 140 kph (87 mph) and gusts of 170 kph (105 mph) and was moving westward in the South China Sea at 30 kph (19 mph).
Over 3,000 people were evacuated to safety in Metropolitan Manila, which was lashed by fierce wind and rain overnight. Classes and government work were suspended Monday in the capital and outlying provinces as a precaution although the morning skies were sunny.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr accessed the damage brought by the typhoon through an aerial survey. The videos shared by the President's office showed farmlands and communities flooded in many parts including the capital Manila and other outlying provinces. Heavy flooding was reported across several northern provinces.
Earlier, in 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest recorded tropical cyclones in the world, left more than 7,300 people dead or missing. Haiyan wrecked almost entire villages, swept ships inland, and displaced more than 5 million in the central Philippines.