Wind, rain from offshore storm batter Philippines

Associated Press Modified: July 31, 2012 at 7:16 am •  Published: July 31, 2012
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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Fierce wind and heavy rain from a slow-moving, offshore typhoon battered the Philippines again Tuesday, killing at least 10 people, displacing 145,000 others and briefly scaring authorities when it veered onto a direct path toward the archipelago.

Typhoon Saola later shifted to blow away from the Philippines after lashing Manila and two-thirds of the nation since Sunday.

"The typhoon was making a U-turn for three hours and that gave us a scare," said Benito Ramos, who heads the country's disaster-response agency. "But we're still keeping a close watch."

Saola, which has sustained winds of 120 kilometers (74 miles) per hour and gusts of 150 kph (93 mph), was blocked by a high-pressure area that forced its slight veer to the west, according to Manila's weather bureau.

One of the victims was a 64-year-old woman who was hit by a landslide early Tuesday after she climbed on her roof to fix a leak while rain pounded the northern mountain town of Itogon, officials said. Most others drowned or were hit by falling trees or debris.