Philippines battered by year's strongest typhoon; 9 missing

August 12, 2013 07:45

MANILA - The year's most powerful typhoon slammed into the Philippines on Monday, triggering landslides and floods, cutting power and communications and leaving 9 fishermen missing, weather and disaster officials said.

Typhoon Utor, packing winds of 140 km per hour (87 mph) near its center and gusts of up to 170 km per hour, weakened slightly after hitting the country's north and is moving slowly west-northwest at 19 km per hour, the officials said.

The coastal town of Casiguran in Aurora province, 343 km northeast of the capital Manila, suffered the worst damage, after Utor set off landslides that blocked its only access road.

"Power was cut in the wee hours of the morning up to now, as well as communication lines in three towns in Aurora, Casiguran included," provincial governor Gerardo Noveras told ANC television, adding that the full extent of damage was still unknown.

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