Most of the reports we’ve seen from northeast Luzon have come out of Tuguegarao, a high-population city in the region that sits along the Cagayan River. Trees are down, buildings are decimated — and this city is well inland. It did not endure the worst of Typhoon Haima, by far.
There’s no word from locations outside Tuguegarao due to communications damage, Philippines news website Rappler reports:
The provincial government of Cagayan said it is possible that 100% of houses in Tuguegarao City were either partially or fully damaged by Super Typhoon Lawin (Haima), which hit land on Wednesday night, October 19.A Rappler reporter who is now in the provincial capitol said most houses and several commercial establishments were destroyed by the typhoon. Even the roof of Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba’s house was blown away.
The BBC is reporting at least four people have been killed, and that number will likely grow as we hear more from smaller, mountainous towns and villages near the coast. Two of those people were killed in a landslide triggered by a truly excessive amount of rainfall in the past seven days.
Haima made landfall in Luzon just days after Typhoon Sarika, which rapidly intensified into a Category 4 before striking the region. Sarika’s heavy rain had already saturated Luzon’s soil, which dramatically increased the chance of deadly landslides during the second typhoon of the week.
Haima was the fifth super typhoon in the northwest Pacific Ocean so far in 2016. The average for this time of year is approximately three. It’s also the seventh Category-5 equivalent of the year, globally.