A fast-moving typhoon blew out of the northern Philippines Monday after causing flash floods and landslides. Three people died when big waves and strong winds sank a stalled ferry over the weekend.
The government weather bureau said the eye of Typhoon Kalmaegi was over the South China Sea some 372 kilometers (231 miles) west of northwestern Laoag city before noon, moving northwest toward southern China at 30 kilometers per hour (19 kph). It was packing sustained winds of 120 kph (75 mph) and gusts of 150 kph (93.21 mile).
Schools in five regions, including metropolitan Manila, were suspended and dozens of flights were canceled. Hundreds of ship passengers were stranded in ports.
Some 7,800 residents were moved to evacuation centers at the height of the typhoon but many have since returned home as the weather improved.
The storm whipped up big waves that swamped and sank a stalled ferry off Southern Leyte province in the central Philippines late Saturday. Cargo and passenger ships plucked at least 110 survivors from the rough waters and recovered three bodies after the ferry sank. At least three other people remain missing.
Typhoon Kalmaegi, the Korean word for seagull, slammed into the boundary of northeastern Cagayan and Isabela provinces Sunday but moved quickly without causing major damage, officials said. But several provinces remain without power.
Residents in at least nine northern provinces, which have been drenched by days of rains, were earlier warned to take precautions and stay away from already soggy mountainsides and swollen rivers.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development pre-positioned 3,000 family food packs in northern communities that may be isolated by the storm. Army and police forces, backed by rubber boats, trucks and air force helicopters, have been put on standby for possible search and rescue operations.
Kalmaegi is the 12th weather disturbance to batter the Philippines this year. The calamity-prone archipelago is lashed by about 20 storms and typhoons every year, each requiring major disaster-mitigation preparations.