Typhoon Utor Hits Northern Philippines; 1 Dead, 20 Missing

Image: Typhoon Utor Hits Northern Philippines; 1 Dead, 20 Missing

Monday, 12 Aug 2013 08:32 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Unleashing winds of up to 125 mph, Typhoon Utor ravaged areas of the northern Philippines Monday, killing one man in a landslide and leaving 20 fishermen missing, weather officials said.

Utor — also named Labuyo by the Philippine weather agency, which uses its own naming list — made landfall early Monday on the east coast Philippine island of Luzon.

"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."

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The tropical cyclone storm was upgraded to a "super typhoon" briefly over the weekend when winds reached more than 140 mph, according to the U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

It weakened slightly after making landfall and is now headed out into the South China Sea, officials said.

Typhoon Utor also stranded some 9,000 people in ports throughout the region after passenger and ferryboat services were suspended because of rough waters, Weather.com reported.

The storm damaged 673 houses in the Philippines province of Aurora, according to CNN, and destroyed nearly 80 percent of the infrastructure in the town of Casiguran.

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A 22-year-old man died Monday in a landslide in the province of Benguet.

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.

Related stories:

After Hitting Philippines, Typhoon Gorio Adds Strength on Way to China

Concern Grows as Typhoon Soulik Heads Toward Taipei, Taiwan

Philippines' Biggest Typhoon Kills at Least 230; Hundreds Missing  

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