Skip to main content

Powerful Typhoon Utor leaves at least 1 dead, 20 missing in Philippines

By Jethro Mullen, CNN
updated 6:28 AM EDT, Mon August 12, 2013
A satellite map shows Typhoon Utor, which is referred to as Labuyo in the Philippines, at 2:32 p.m. local time Monday.
A satellite map shows Typhoon Utor, which is referred to as Labuyo in the Philippines, at 2:32 p.m. local time Monday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Typhoon Utor makes landfall with gusts of 200 kilometers per hour
  • Philippine authorities report one person dead and 20 missing
  • It's the strongest storm anywhere in the world so far this year
  • More than 650 houses are damaged in one coastal province

Are you there? Send us your photos and videos, but please stay safe.

(CNN) -- The world's strongest storm of the year so far plowed across the northern Philippines on Monday, killing at least one person and leaving 20 fishermen missing.

Packing winds as strong as 200 kilometers per hour (124 mph), Typhoon Utor made landfall early Monday on the east coast of the Philippine island of Luzon, damaging hundreds of houses.

"It's the strongest typhoon we've had so far on the planet this year," said CNN International meteorologist Samantha Mohr. "So that gives you some idea of the magnitude of this system."

Utor, known in the Philippines as Labuyo, churned west-northwest over Luzon, dumping heavy rain on the island's hilly terrain and bringing the risk of landslides. It weakened as it moved over land, and by Monday afternoon, it had begun to head out into the South China Sea.

Aid groups in the Philippines, which had been preparing for the storm's arrival for several days, said they were only just beginning to assess the situation on the ground in the hardest-hit areas.

"There's a high risk that part of the population may get isolated because of landslides and difficulty moving around," said Anna Lindenfors, country director for Save the Children in the Philippines.

The country's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported one death in the province of Benguet on Monday afternoon.

Twenty fishermen who had headed out to sea before the storm's arrival remained unaccounted for, the agency said. But dozens of others who had initially been reported missing had returned home safely, it said.

The agency reported damage to 673 houses in the province of Aurora, where the storm made landfall.

The typhoon destroyed nearly 80% of the infrastructure in Casiguran, a town that lay in Utor's path across the province, CNN affiliate ABS-CBN reported.

The storm tore apart rickety houses and ripped the roof off a local hospital, the local broadcaster said, showing images of flattened homes buried under fallen trees.

Situated near an area of the Pacific Ocean where typhoons form, the Philippines regularly suffers severe storm damage.

An average of 20 typhoons hit the Southeast Asian country every year, and two or three of those cause serious damage, according to Plan International, an aid and development organization.

Utor is expected to pick up more strength over the warm waters of the South China Sea over the next day or so before making landfall on the southern coast of China on Wednesday.

CNN's Anjali Tsui contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:39 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Tethered to an IV drip, 71-year-old Shin Young Ja lies under a thin fleece blanket, nursing a broken back and wracked with survivor's guilt.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Family members of the missing passengers are pinning slim hopes on floundering air pockets.
updated 12:14 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
updated 5:34 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
The Hadza are one of the last communities of hunter-gatherers in the world -- but losing their land.
updated 9:22 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
In choosing to change a traditional practice, Francis is being as radical as Jesus was in his own time.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle pressure. Unattractive to sponsors. Susie Wolff has heard it all.
updated 11:56 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
It's like finding a needle in a universe-wide haystack. Researchers have located a planet roughly the size of Earth that could be habitable.
updated 5:40 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Dubai, long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive, will soon have some competition from a neighboring country.
ADVERTISEMENT