Typhoon kills 2, strands thou­sands in Philip­pines

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

A pow­er­ful but fast-mov­ing typhoon blew out of the north­ern Philip­pines yes­ter­day after leav­ing at least two peo­ple dead and dis­plac­ing more than 15,000, though the re­gion was spared a ma­jor dis­as­ter due in part to the storm’s speed. Typhoon Sarika blew into Aurora prov­ince early yes­ter­day and ex­ited around mid­day after bar­rel­ing rapidly through heav­ily pop­u­lated agri­cul­tural prov­inces, in­clud­ing land­slide-prone moun­tain­ous re­gions, gov­ern­ment fore­cast­ers said.

At 4 p.m., the storm was over the South China Sea, about 260 kilo­me­ters off the Philip­pine coast, mov­ing north­west­ward at 24 kilo­me­ters per hour. It had sus­tained winds of 130 kph and gusts of up to 200 kph, ac­cord­ing to the Philip­pines’ weather agency. De­spite its strength, the typhoon did not linger long enough to wreak havoc in re­gions along its path and the weather started to im­prove in prov­inces that it had struck, in­clud­ing Aurora. Still, the typhoon forced more than 15,700 vil­lagers to flee their homes in five north­ern prov­inces and take refuge in 132 emer­gency shel­ters, ac­cord­ing to dis­as­ter-response agen­cies.

‘Sit­u­a­tion is man­age­able’

Strong winds and rain knocked down trees and elec­tric­ity poles, caus­ing power out­ages and floods in the five prov­inces. “We have yet to re­ceive the com­plete de­tails, but I think the sit­u­a­tion is man­age­able,” said Ri­cardo Jalad, who heads the Of­fice of Civil De­fense. “Roofs of some houses were ripped off, there were fallen trees. Those are the dam­ages we re­ceived so far, so it’s is not that se­ri­ous.”

Mayor Nelianto Bi­hasa of Baler, a pop­u­lar surf­ing town in Aurora, said strong winds ripped tin roofs off many houses and knocked down trees and elec­tric­ity posts, caus­ing power out­ages and block­ing ac­cess roads to some vil­lages. Coastal vil­lagers were warned early to move to safer ar­eas, pre­vent­ing wide­spread ca­su­al­ties, he said. In the east­ern prov­ince of Catan­d­u­anes, a man drowned after be­ing swept by strong river cur­rents and a farmer died after his head hit the ground amid fierce winds, pro­vin­cial safety of­fi­cer

Gerry Beo said, adding that three fish­er­men had not re­turned home from a fish­ing ex­pe­di­tion and were re­ported miss­ing. A month’s worth of rain fell Fri­day as the typhoon approached from the Pa­cific, swelling rivers and creeks and flood­ing low-ly­ing farm­ing vil­lages, Beo said, adding that most towns in the is­land prov­ince of about 260,000 peo­ple have no elec­tric­ity and spotty com­mu­ni­ca­tions. — AP

MANILA: A boy plays in a swollen creek un­der a bridge. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.