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Typhoon Sarika approaches the Philippines
A powerful typhoon slammed into the northeastern Philippines on Sunday, leaving at least two people dead, knocking out power and isolating villages amid floods and toppled trees.
Typhoon Sarika, locally known as Karen, blew into Aurora province early Sunday and was barreling fast through heavily-populated agricultural provinces with sustained winds of 130 kilometres (80 miles) per hour and gusts of 220 kph (136 mph), officials said.
Mayor Nelianto Bihasa of Baler, a popular surfing town in Aurora, said howling wind ripped tin roofs off many houses and knocked down trees and electric posts, causing power outages and blocking access roads to some villages.
Coastal villagers were warned early to move to safer areas and there have been no immediate reports of casualties other than two injured residents, he said.
In eastern Catanduanes province, a man drowned after being swept by strong river currents and a farmer died after his head hit the ground in fierce wind, provincial safety officer Gerry Beo said.
Three fishermen were reported missing, he said.