Powerful winds toppled power poles and trees Saturday in the northern Philippines as the second typhoon in eight days bore down on the country. Farther north, Taiwan began evacuating villages also in the path of the storm.
The Philippines is still reeling from a Sept. 26 typhoon that caused the worst flooding in 40 years, killing 288. Officials said the risk of another major disaster was easing because the new storm, Typhoon Parma, had changed direction slightly and was no longer headed for heavily populated regions of the main island of Luzon.
But heavy rain was falling across a swath of Luzon that is still flooded, and violent winds were battering the far—north province of Cagayan.
Trees were uprooted and power pylons toppled in the provincial capital of Tuguegarao, local government official Bonifacio Cuarteros told The Associated Press by telephone.
“We pray that we won’t have a worse outcome, but with this kind of situation, we cannot really say,” he said.
Parma was due to strike the Philippines’ northeastern tip on Saturday night, instead of hitting north—central Luzon on Saturday afternoon, as earlier forecast. It was packing sustained winds that had also weakened slightly, to 108 mph (175 kph), down from 121 mph (195 kph) on Friday.
The better news for the Philippines was bad news for Taiwan, which issued a storm warning and began moving people out of villages in the southern county of Kaohsiung, said local official Lin Chun-chieh. Flash flooding from the last typhoon to hit the Kaohsiung killed about 700 people in August.
Typhoon Ketsana last month damaged the homes of more than 3 million people in the Philippines. It went on to hit other Southeast Asian countries, killing 99 in Vietnam, 14 in Cambodia and 16 in Laos.
It was part of more than a week of destruction in the Asia-Pacific region that has claimed more than 1,500 lives so far: an earthquake Wednesday in Indonesia; a tsunami Tuesday in the Samoan islands; and Typhoon Ketsana across Southeast Asia.