At least seven people were killed and two missing Saturday after typhoon Goni battered the northern Philippines with strong rain and winds that triggered landslides and flooding, authorities reportedly said. The typhoon, which has slightly weakened, is expected to move away from the country without making a landfall.
Among the deceased were two brothers who reportedly died when a landslide buried a temporary shelter where they took cover in Bakun town in Benguet province. Two other men were killed in separate landslides, while another man died because of a tree that fell due to the strong winds, according to the Office of Civil Defense.
On Saturday, two other people died in the Benguet province, Governor Nestor Fongwan reportedly said. He added that rescuers were working to find two villagers who were buried in a landslide.
The typhoon was at sea about 78 miles east of Calayan Island on the northern tip of the Philippines and is packing maximum sustained winds of 100 mph with wind gusts of up to 121 mph, the Associated Press reported, citing the government's weather agency. Thousands of residents have been evacuated as the powerful typhoon Goni lashed the Philippines and approached Taiwan, authorities reportedly said.
Tyhoon Goni will be passing east of Taiwan and head toward Okinawa, Japan, early next week, according to forecasters. Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau said early Saturday that a land warning may not be issued for the typhoon in the country, but people will have to prepare for heavy to torrential rain during the weekend.
Goni, a Korean word for swan, is the ninth of about 20 storms and typhoons that are expected to batter the Philippines this year.
The Philippines is frequently hit by typhoons. Last December, at least 21 people were killed when typhoon Hagupit made its first landfall in Eastern Samar. However, Hagupit was reportedly less powerful than super typhoon Haiyan, which left over 7,300 people dead when it hit the region in November 2013.