4 killed after a typhoon hits the main island of the Philippines

At least four rescue workers have been killed and one left missing after a typhoon hit the main island of the Philippines.

Typhoon Noru, previously classed as a super typhoon, caused gusts of up to 240kph on Luzon, where more than half of the country’s 110 million population live.

Forecasters say the storm experienced an “explosive intensification” as it made landfall west of Luzon.

Noru is the strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year.

The Governor for the Bulacan area Daniel Fernando said five personnel from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices were washed away in flash floods while carrying out rescue operations in the district of San Miguel.

Typhoon Noru, known locally as Karding, weakened as it made second landfall at 20:20 local time on Sunday, and is expected to leave the Philippines by Monday evening.

More than 74,000 people had been evacuated from the typhoon’s path, and officials had earlier issued warnings of “serious flooding” in areas of the capital, Manila.

“I think we may have gotten lucky, at least this time,” said Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos during a briefing on Monday. “I think it’s clear from what we did these last two days is that, very, very important, is preparation,” he added.

“It’s not yet over. I think the point when we can stand down is when the majority of evacuees are already back in their homes,” he said.

Mr Marcos has ordered that supplies be airlifted and clean-up equipment provided to communities that have been most affected.

Thousands of volunteers are monitoring river levels, bridges and mountains for landslides which could hamper rescue efforts, said Dick Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross.

Information will be crucial in getting help to where it is needed, he said.

The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean, is highly vulnerable to storms. It sees an annual average of 20 tropical storms.

An estimated 400 people died when Typhoon Rai hit the country in December 2021, with rescue teams describing scenes of “complete carnage”.

And in 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful tropical storms ever recorded, killed some 6,300 people.