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 7:06 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
updated 4:58 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
updated 9:02 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
updated 11:33 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
updated 1:48 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
updated 5:59 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
With so many new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
updated 12:29 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
updated 6:33 AM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
updated 7:53 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT