Typhoon Babs sweeps across Philippines toward Manila

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Typhoon Babs blew toward Manila on Thursday after sweeping across the central Philippines, triggering landslides, forcing thousands to evacuate and killing at least three people.
Schools, government offices and businesses were closed in Manila as the storm advanced, and President Joseph Estrada warned slum dwellers living in makeshift houses along Manila’s river banks to leave.
Weather forecasters originally said Manila would be hit directly, but the storm shifted course slightly and was expected to pass about 50 miles north of Manila by this morning, sparing the city a direct hit.
Disaster officials said at least three people have been killed and scores injured in the storm. In Camarines Sur province, three fishermen also were missing after they were washed away by surging waves.
Babs’ strong winds knocked over trees and power lines, disrupting communications in many remote regions. Damage reports from many areas were sketchy.
More than 28,500 people were evacuated from their homes in at least four provinces, officials said.