Manila Philippines Typhoon Cimaron blew over the northern Philippines today, felling trees, toppling power lines, blasting roofs off homes and leaving at least three people dead, officials said.
Cimaron, which made landfall late Sunday, is the second typhoon to hit the northern Philippines in as many months and was packing maximum winds of 109 mph and gusts of up to 130 mph.
It was forecast to exit the region in the direction of Vietnam later today.
"This is probably one of the strongest typhoons ever to hit the country," Health Secretary Francisco Duqueso said at a news conference aired on Manila radio stations.
Nearly 30 northern and northeastern provinces were placed under a storm alert, school classes and government work were canceled and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, on a visit to China, called for prayers Sunday. Domestic flights to the north also were canceled.
Although the typhoon did not appear to be drenching the mudslide-prone area as badly as feared, rising rivers made some bridges impassable. Officials said water would be released from two major dams to prevent them from overflowing.