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Strong typhoon cuts power, causes flooding in northern Philippines

Sunday, September 12th 2021, 4:09 pm - Typhoon Chanthu battered the northernmost islands of the Philippines this weekend. The storm grew so powerful at its peak that its winds were the equivalent of a Category 5 storm.

MANILA (Reuters) - Several communities remain flooded and without power after a strong typhoon battered the Philippines' northernmost islands, the authorities said on Sunday, displacing thousands of people.

Typhoon Chanthu, which at one point was categorised by the Philippine weather bureau as a category 5 storm, has weakened after powering into the northernmost region, including the Batanes island group, on Saturday, the weather bureau said.

REUTERS Typhoon Chanthu Damage Philippines 1 Damaged buildings and debris are seen after Typhoon Chanthu passed through Sabtang, Batanes, Philippines, in this September 12, 2021 image obtained via social media. (Dennis Ballesteros Valdez via Reuters)

"It's one of the strongest typhoons I've felt," said Dennis Ballesteros Valdez, a resident of Sabtang town in the province of Batanes, which is often pummelled by powerful typhoons.

"It could have been more destructive if the houses were not built as strong," Valdez said.

Footage taken by Valdez showed powerful winds and rains battering houses in Sabtang on Saturday morning.

More than 11,000 people have been affected by the typhoon, with more than 1,000 still in evacuation centers, the disaster agency said in a report. No casualties have been reported yet.

REUTERS Typhoon Chanthu Damage Philippines 2 Damaged buildings and debris are seen after Typhoon Chanthu passed through Sabtang, Batanes, Philippines, in this September 12, 2021 image obtained via social media. (Dennis Ballesteros Valdez via Reuters)

Chanthu has been downgraded to category 3, according to Tropical Storm Risk, as it brushed Taiwan and drenched the island with heavy rain.

Some 20 typhoons hit the Philippines on average each year, according to the weather authorities.

(Reporting by Peter Blaza; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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