Manila, Philippines. Typhoon Labuyo (Utor) made landfall in the early morning hours of Monday with winds estimated to be around 125 mph (200 km/h). Initial reports by our District Superintendent from the northern regions of the main island of Luzon indicate that there has been heavy rain, and flooding, but due to disrupted infrastructure as a result of the storm, complete information is still pending.
Government officials are reporting widespread power outages, uprooted trees, and roofs blown off of some homes. There are now reports of at least one fatality and the national disaster agency said it was concerned for 23 missing fishermen who went to sea before the storm was initially observed.
In Manila at the campus of Asia Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary, they have been experiencing periods of heavy rains, but no significant flooding or associated high winds.
Labuyo is the most powerful storm to hit the Philippines this year. December of last year, more than 1,000 lives were lost when Typhoon Pablo struck the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. On average, approximately 20 major storms hit the Philippines each year.
“We have met as a field team and I am in contact with our district leaders in the north. The field office stands ready to assist our local churches with relief should it become necessary,” Stephen Gualberto, Philippine/Micronesia Field Strategy Coordinator, reported during an interview earlier today.
Please continue to check back for further updates over the next 48 hours.