Duterte Cancels Government Work in Manila as Typhoon Threatens

By Cecilia Yap and Ditas Lopez

Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte canceled work in all government offices in Metro Manila, while airports and schools were shut before Typhoon Kammuri hits the Philippine capital Tuesday.

Work in all government offices will be suspended from noon, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters. Banks will continue to operate and the currency market will remain open, Bankers Association of the Philippines managing director Benjamin Castillo said in a separate mobile-phone message.

Kammuri slammed into the Philippines’ Luzon island before midnight on Monday after more than 225,000 people moved to safer ground. Authorities earlier canceled nearly 500 flights after deciding to close Manila’s airport for 12 hours from 11 a.m.

The storm locally known as Tisoy is bringing violent winds and intense rainfall over the southern portion of Luzon island, packing maximum winds of 150 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 205 kph, the nation’s weather bureau said in its 11 a.m. report.

The Supreme Court shut all courts in the capital region, while schools are closed and some cities suspended government work.

At least one person died from electrocution before the typhoon hit Sorsogon province midnight. Electricity was shut in 10 areas in Luzon as strong winds toppled power lines, the disaster risk-monitoring agency said.

“Damaging winds will spread into Metro Manila Tuesday afternoon and evening,” Accuweather said on its website. Many areas in Luzon “will be at risk for flooding and mudslides,” it said.

Powerful winds ripped apart walls and shattered windows of the airport in Albay province, ABS-CBN News reported, citing Governor Al Francis Bichara.

Organizers have suspended canoe-kayak and windsurfing competitions in the 30th Southeast Asian Games being hosted by the Philippines, ABS-CBN said.


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