MANILA, Philippines – Northern villages were warned Monday to be on guard for landslides and flash floods caused by a tropical storm that carved a deadly path across the Philippines.
Tropical Storm Aere slammed the eastern province of Catanduanes on Sunday, triggering landslides, roughing up Manila Bay and rattling nerves overnight in the congested capital.
On Monday, it slammed provinces on northern Luzon Island, gradually losing strength. As of late Monday, it was 85 kilometers northeast of Cagayan province’s Apparri township, weather forecaster Manny Mendoza said.
Disaster officials warned villagers to stay away from mountainous areas prone to landslides and from low-lying areas that could be swamped by flash floods. Fishermen and ferry operators in the storm’s path were advised to keep their boats ashore.
Officials in Taiwan also issued a sea warning and cautioned residents on the eastern and southern parts of the island that torrential rain may fall late Monday. Aere may later blow toward Okinawa, Japan, Mendoza said.
Aere has caused 17 deaths in the Philippines since early Sunday. Three people died in a house buried by a landslide in Camarines Sur province, and at least 10 people have drowned. Other storm deaths were caused by electrocution, a truck crash and two health attacks.
An Albay fisherman who sailed out Sunday and a man suspected to have been swept away by floodwaters in Camarines Sur were listed as missing.
The agricultural provinces feeling the storm’s effects grow rice, corn, vegetables and fruit. No estimate was available yet on the damage.
Aere has caused more than 50 flights to be canceled or diverted. President Benigno Aquino III delayed his flight home from a summit in Indonesia by a day, to Monday, due to the weather.
Aere is the second tropical storm to batter the Philippines this year. About 20 typhoons and storms lash the country annually.