Typhoon Saola lashes northern Philippines and heads toward Taiwan, southern China

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A typhoon dumped heavy rain in the northern Philippines but didn't make landfall as it moved toward southern Taiwan and is aiming at China's southern coast.

Flooding in low-lying villages displaced more than 2,300 people, most of whom sought shelter in government evacuation centers, disaster-response officials in the northern Philippines said. No casualties have been reported.

Weather authorities warned of the risk of further floods and landslides, especially in mountainous areas that had seen heavy rains over the past few days.

The typhoon advanced with maximum winds of 155 kph (96 mph) and gusts of up to 190 kph (118 mph), according to the Philippine weather bureau.

Inter-island ferries and cargo vessels were barred from leaving ports in some areas of the northern Philippines.

The Chinese port city of Xiamen, across the strait from Taiwan, suspended ferry services starting on Tuesday.

Typhoon Saola was expected to further weaken and may hit the southern tip of Taiwan on Wednesday. Most weather maps put the typhoon on course toward Hong Kong and southern China later this week.

Taiwan’s weather bureau said it expects to issue a sea warning and possibly a land warning as the typhoon approached.

Last month, Typhoon Doksuri lashed the northern Philippines, displacing thousands, before making landfall and causing deadly floods in China.


Associated Press writer Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines, contributed to this report.