At least five people were killed and hundreds of thousands were displaced in massive floods triggered by a tropical storm in the Philippines on Friday, Channel NewsAsia reported.
Intense rainfall and flooding paralyzed many cities across the country, including the capital city of Manila -- where nearly 85,000 people have been displaced -- as the country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, or NDRRMC, scrambled to evacuate people from flood-affected provinces.
The storm, which made landfall in Cagayan province in the northern island of Luzon late Thursday, gained strength Saturday bringing torrential rains and strong winds. Imee Marcos, the governor of Ilocos Norte province in the northwest of Luzon, said that the storm has affected at least 700,000 people, The Guardian reported Saturday.
“I told everyone to hunker down. There is very little we can do,” she reportedly said. “I am basically holed up in my bedroom with a generator and several computers and telephones because I can't even cross the street.”
Aldczar Aurelio, a meteorologist, told The Guardian that the storm had strengthened the seasonal southwest monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean and Australia. As a result, nearly a month’s worth of rain fell overnight on Friday.
Fung-Wong, also known as Mario, caused winds of up to 59 miles an hour and is expected to intensify further as it moves north toward Taiwan on Sunday, according to an NDRRMC report.
Fung-Wong is the second tropical storm to hit Philippines in the last two weeks, after typhoon Kalmaegi, which hit the northern islands of the archipelago last week, killed eight and displaced more than 300,000 people.