A super typhoon blew into the eastern Philippines with disastrous force Sunday, killing at least 10 people and triggering volcanic mudflows that engulfed houses before weakening as it blew away from the country, officials said. Typhoon Goni blasted into the eastern island province of Catanduanes at dawn from the Pacific with sustained winds of 140 mph and gusts of 174 mph, the AP reports, threatening provinces still recovering from a deadly typhoon that hit a week ago. Goni barreled through densely populated regions and threatened to sideswipe Manila but shifted south Sunday night and spared the capital, the government weather agency said. The airport was shut until Monday. Commuter train services were also suspended and a no-sail policy was imposed by the coast guard. The military and national police, along with the coast guard, were put on full alert.
At least nine people were killed in the province of Albay, including a father and son. Villagers fled to safety as the typhoon approached, but the two apparently stayed put in Guinobatan town, where about 150 houses were inundated by volcanic mudflow. "The child was found 15 kilometers (9 miles) away," the governor said, adding that the boy was swept away by mudflows and found in the next town. Nearly a million people were preemptively moved into emergency shelters. In a Manila gymnasium that was turned into an emergency shelter, COVID-19 outbreaks were an added worry of displaced residents. The Philippines has had more than 383,000 cases of the virus, the second-most in Southeast Asia behind Indonesia. "We are scared—our fears are doubled," said Jaqueline Almocera, a 44-year-old street vendor who took cover at the shelter. The Philippines is lashed by about 20 typhoons and storms each year.
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