MANILA, Philippines – A powerful typhoon that slammed into the northeastern tip of the Philippines left at least two people dead and prompted nearly 3,500 residents to flee to shelters following warnings to evacuate coastal and mountainous villages.
Typhoon Noul has weakened since making landfall Sunday afternoon in Cagayan province's coastal town of Santa Ana. As of Monday morning, the eye of the typhoon was 40 miles northeast of Basco, the capital town of northernmost Batanes province, packing winds of 99 miles per hour and gusts of 121 mph, said government weather forecaster Adzcar Aurelio.
Aurelio said Noul was expected to weaken further due to strong winds that will dissipate the heavy clouds around it. The typhoon is forecast to exit the Philippines by Tuesday morning, headed to southern Japan.
Two men died of electrocution in Cagayan's Appari town and nearly 3,500 were evacuated to safer grounds in Cagayan and Isabela provinces, said Norma Talosig, the regional civil defense director. The evacuees had returned to their homes by Monday.
While the threat of storm surges has passed, fishermen were advised not to venture out of the country's eastern seaboard as waters remain rough, Aurelio said.
The coast guard suspended ferry services in areas affected by the typhoon, stranding more than 5,000 passengers.
About 20 storms and typhoons hit the Philippines each year. The strongest on record to make landfall, Typhoon Haiyan, devastated the central Philippines in November 2013, killing more than 7,300 people.