HAGATNA, Guam — A typhoon that killed four people and destroyed hundreds of homes on islands in the western Pacific Ocean has weakened but is expected to cause flooding in the Philippines when it slams ashore this weekend.
Typhoon Maysak was downgraded from a supertyphoon Thursday morning, with the latest maximum sustained winds at 130 mph, down from 160 mph. The storm is losing force but still is packing power as it barrels toward northern Luzon island in the Philippines, said senior meteorologist Paul Stanko of the National Weather Service in Guam.
"Floods will be the single biggest hazard for the Philippines," Stanko said of the storm he expects to hit Sunday morning. "It'll bring buckets of rain, and that almost always creates problems for the Philippines because it's subject to flooding."
He said the weakening typhoon still will create "big problems."
It left a path of destruction in Micronesia, sweeping through Chuuk state's numerous islands and passing just north of Yap state's outer islands Wednesday. The storm killed four people, said Andrew Yatilman, director of the country's Office of Environment and Emergency Management.
Officials are assessing the damage, which is extensive. The storm destroyed 830 homes by blowing down houses mostly made of wood with tin roofing and displaced 6,760 residents in Chuuk who are staying in schools and churches, said Frank Cholymay, the state's disaster coordinator.
Falling trees caused some of the deaths, and a flying piece of wood fatally struck a child, Cholymay said. Crews worked to clear large fallen trees, power poles and debris from roadways, officials said.
The outer islands in the northwest region of Chuuk and the Ulithi islands in Yap state also reported flood damage and freshwater contamination from seawater inundation, Yatilman said.
The Chuuk and Yap governors both declared states of emergency, as Micronesia President Manny Mori mobilized relief efforts.