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Typhoon Rammasun batters central Philippines

Manila, July 16 (): Powerful winds and torrential rain slammed Manila, the capital city of Philippines, causing power outages and uprooting trees as the Typhoon Rammasun advanced, with government ordering to close the financial markets and schools.

The typhoon is also called Glenda. It hit the main island of Luzon with blast of air at a speed of up to 115 mph (185km/h). At least 4 had been killed by the storm, the authorities said.

The officials said that storm’s eye passed the southern regions of Manila and the severe weather condition brought the city to a standstill. The strong winds had knocked out the power and had forced many thousands to evacuate the region.

On Wednesday, schools and government offices were shut and the flights were cancelled. The Red Cross of Philippine National said that about 370,000 people residing mostly in Albay’s eastern province which was the first region to be knocked out by the typhoon, had been displaced. The town halls of the city had been transformed into housings and the people had also been placed in gymnasiums and schools.

The weather service of Philippines has said the region might receive rainfall between 7.5 to 30 millimetres per hour, within a radius of 500 kilometre. They also said landslides and flash floods in low-lying areas and mountainous regions may be expected, whereas strong waves as big as 3m may hit the coastal areas.

The storm winds could be tougher than Xangsane storm that left about 184 people dead after smashing Manila and adjoining regions in 2006, Rene Paciente, a weather forecaster, said.

Philippines is usually hit by about 20 major storms every year. Typhoon Rammasun is the first to make landfall this year after the rainy season began in June. The weather service had stated as many as 10 typhoons might develop or enter Philippines in the third quarter of this year.