Typhoon Nock-Ten loses intensity while crossing Philippines

Manila, Dec 26 (IANS) Typhoon Nock-Ten, which made landfall in the Philippines on Sunday, lost intensity as it moved through the archipelago, weather authorities said on Monday.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services reported that the typhoon, known as Nina in the Philippines, weakened on its way to the provinces of Batangas and Cavite and on Monday morning had maximum sustained winds of 140 km per hour and gusts of up to 230 kph, Efe news reported.

According to data from the Civil Defence Office of Bicom region, where the typhoon made landfall, about 320,000 people spent Christmas night in sports venues and schools provided as shelter by the government.

Authorities have not reported any deaths or injuries caused by the Nock-Ten, nor have they evaluated any possible damage.

The typhoon, moving at a speed of 20 kph towards the northwest, is expected to remain in the country until Tuesday and leave the Philippine territorial waters on Wednesday.

Authorities have issued warnings in a dozen provinces, where the typhoon is causing heavy rains in areas, which could lead to floods and landslides in mountainous areas.

Thousands of people have been forced to cancel their Christmas celebrations, considered very important for this Christian-majority country, as sea and air transport services have been partially suspended.

Nock-Ten is the third typhoon in the country’s history that has struck during the holiday season, after Lee in 1981 and Jean in 1947, both Category 2 storms.