MANILA, Aug 27, 2011 (AFP) - Super-typhoon Nanmadol battered the northern tip of the Philippines on Saturday, bringing heavy rain and causing landslides that left at least four people dead or missing, civil defence officials said.
Nanmadol, the strongest storm to hit the country this year, was hovering over the northern province of Cagayan, raising fears of more devastation to come the longer it remains in the area, officials said.
|PAGASA Track of Nanmadol, or Mina, as of 8 a.m., 26 August 2011. PAGASA is the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.|
Two children were killed in a landslide in a hilly area north of the Philippine capital while two fishermen went missing in rough waters in separate incidents as the storm battered the country, regional officials reported.
More landslides are expected as heavy rains fall on mountainous areas, warned Major Rey Balido of the government monitoring centre.
"For the past three days, it has been raining so the soil has been saturated and there will be landslides," he told AFP.
"There will be more floods also because the typhoon has been almost stationary so the rains just keep falling. It will take a longer time to traverse the area and will be more devastating," he warned.
He said the government had evacuated residents living near areas prone to landslides and flash floods as a precaution although the total number of people moved had not yet been compiled.
Nanmadol, packing gusts of about 230 kilometres (145 miles) per hour, was moving at only nine kilometres an hour, the government weather station said.
This means it will remain near the northern edge of the main Philippine island of Luzon till Sunday, bringing rain and winds over a wide area, the weather station said.
The storm, which is named after an ancient site in Micronesia, is strong enough to uproot large trees and damage houses, it added.
It is expected to move northwards and will be off the eastern coast of Taiwan by Monday, the weather station said.
The highest level storm alert has been raised over the northern tip of Luzon while lower level alerts have been hoisted over surrounding areas.
An average of 20 storms and typhoons, many of them deadly, hit the Philippines annually. The last storms, Nock-ten and Muifa, left at least 70 dead when they hit the country in July.