Associated Press journalists sheltering in a hotel in Tuguegarao early Saturday reported seeing tin roof sheets and other debris hurtling through the air and store signs crashing to the ground.
Meteorologists in Manila said even the typhoon’s weaker winds could be deadly. “It can lift cars, you can’t stand, you can’t even crawl against that wind,” Rene Pacientem, a government forecaster, told reporters.
Roads were deserted in coastal Ilocos Sur, on the northwestern side of Luzon, as authorities warned of storm surges up to six feet in that province. Trees felled by the storm blocked roadways.
The heavily populated Metro Manila area, further south on Luzon Island, seemed to have been spared the worst of the storm. Early Saturday, the national weather service was warning of strong winds and moderate rain in that area — issuing the lowest-level alert — but flooding was still possible in low-lying areas.
Driving up the coast, amid flying debris
Hannah Beech, a New York Times correspondent, was heading north along Luzon’s western coast in Ilocos Sur Province the early hours of Saturday. Foliage and trees were strewn across the road, which was almost deserted.
After dawn broke, with the authorities warning of storm surges, she and a driver pulled off the road in the town of San Juan and parked near city hall to wait for the eye of the storm to pass. Debris was flying through the air. At one point, the roof of a shed blew past.