TOKYO (AP) — Typhoon Goni lashed the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa with heavy rains and winds on Monday, as the death toll rose to 19 in the northern Philippines. The latest victims include a 9-month-old boy and his 2-year-old sister who drowned in flash floods.
Wind-gusts of 256 kph (159 mph), a local record, flipped over cars and toppled utility poles overnight on the remote Japanese island of Ishigaki, near Taiwan, Japanese media reported. A few people were cut by broken windows. The storm, with maximum sustained winds of 180 kph (112 mph), was heading north toward Japan’s southernmost main island of Kyushu.
Sixteen people were missing in the Philippines in addition to the 19 dead.
Landslides killed at least 13 people in the mountain province of Benguet, including four gold miners who were pulled out of a huge mudslide that buried three work camps. A dozen miners were missing and more than 100 policemen and fellow miners dug through the mud amid fading hope that survivors would be found, officials said.
Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan said days of pounding rain and a swollen creek saturated a mountain slope, which cascaded down the gold-mining area at dawn Saturday. “They were sleeping when a huge chunk of the mountain came down and buried their work sites,” he said by phone.
Six people died elsewhere in the north, and four others were missing, according to the Office of Civil Defense.
The 9-month old boy and his sister drowned after floods swept away their riverside shanty in Subic town in northwestern Zambales province early Monday. Their 5-year-old brother remains missing.
The typhoon damaged more than 1,000 houses, said Alexander Pama, head of the government’s disaster-response agency.
Goni is the ninth of about 20 storms and typhoons that are expected to batter the Philippines this year. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most ferocious storms on record to hit land, devastated large areas of the central Philippines in November 2013, leaving more than 7,300 people dead or missing.
Associated Press writers Jim Gomez and Teresa Cerojano in Manila and Ken Moritsugu in Tokyo contributed to this story.
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