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Manila Reopens Airport as Typhoon That Displaced 500,000 Leaves

Cecilia Yap and Ditas Lopez

(Bloomberg) -- The Philippines reopened its main airport late Tuesday as Typhoon Kammuri heads to the South China Sea, leaving at least three people dead and displacing half a million more.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s runways were opened at 6 p.m. local time to allow airlines to bring back their aircraft to Manila, General Manager Ed Monreal said in a statement. Regular flight operations will resume at 11 p.m.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte canceled government work in Metro Manila, while schools were closed as Kammuri battered most of Luzon island Tuesday. The foreign exchange and stock markets were open.

About half a million people evacuated as the typhoon slammed into Luzon before midnight on Monday. Authorities originally planned to close Manila’s airport for 12 hours from 11 a.m. Tuesday, prompting the cancellation of about 500 flights.

The storm locally known as Tisoy brought violent winds and intense rainfall over the southern portion of Luzon and weakened after passing through several provinces. It’s packing maximum winds of 130 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 160 kph, the nation’s weather bureau said in its 8 p.m. report.

Frequent heavy rains will continue until Wednesday morning in the capital and nearby provinces. The storm is forecast to leave Philippine waters and head to the South China Sea Thursday.

Two people were killed in Oriental Mindoro province, Governor Humerlito Dolor told DZMM radio. A 33-year-old man who was repairing his roof died of electrocution in Camarines Sur province on Monday.

Electricity was shut in 10 areas in Luzon as strong winds toppled power lines.

Ayala Land Inc., Robinsons Land Inc. and SM Prime Holdings Inc. malls waived overnight parking fees to allow customers to wait out the storm.

Powerful winds ripped apart walls and shattered windows of the airport in Albay province, while uprooting trees in Samar province, ABS-CBN News reported. Organizers of the 30th Southeast Asian Games suspended canoe-kayak and windsurfing competitions.

The Supreme Court shut all courts in Metro Manila, while an international conference organized by the Philippine central bank was canceled.

Kammuri is the 20th storm to hit the Philippines in 2019 where about 20 cyclones pass through each year. In 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 6,300 people in the Southeast Asian nation.

Read: One Dead, Thousands Displaced as Typhoon Hits Philippines (5)

--With assistance from Andreo Calonzo and Claire Jiao.

To contact the reporters on this story: Cecilia Yap in Manila at cyap19@bloomberg.net;Ditas Lopez in Manila at dlopez55@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecilia Yap at cyap19@bloomberg.net, Andreo Calonzo

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