Super Typhoon Haima weakened and blew out to sea Thursday after smashing the northern Philippines with ferocious wind and rain overnight. Flooding, landslides and power outages were evident, but large casualties appeared to have been averted after nearly 100,000 people fled to safer ground.
Haima’s blinding winds and rain had rekindled fears of the catastrophe wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, but there were no immediate reports of any major damage. Several villages are cut off by fallen trees, landslides and floods, impeding communications and aid.
At least seven people were killed in the storm, officials said. But the evacuations from high-risk communities helped prevent a larger number of casualties.
Two construction workers died when a landslide buried their shanty in La Trinidad town in the mountain province of Benguet, officials said, while two villagers perished in another landslide and another was swept away in a river and remains missing in Ifugao province, near Benguet. A 70-year-old man died apparently of a heart attack in an emergency shelter while another man died after being pinned by a fallen tree in Isabela province. One other typhoon-related death was reported in northern Ilocos region but details were not immediately available.