MANILA Thou­sands flee as ty­phoon lashes Philip­pines

The Myanmar Times - - World -

TY­PHOON Sarika lashed the main Philip­pine is­land of Lu­zon yes­ter­day, flat­ten­ing homes and top­pling trees and power py­lons as more than 12,000 peo­ple fled to safer ground, of­fi­cials said.

Mi­nor land­slides and flood­ing were also re­ported a day after the cy­clone brushed past the re­mote east­ern is­land of Catan­d­u­anes and left one per­son drowned and three oth­ers miss­ing there.

Nelianto Bi­hasa, the mayor of the town of Baler where Sarika made land­fall be­fore dawn, told ABS-CBN net­work the ty­phoon de­stroyed at least 20 houses and left one per­son in­jured.

Gov­ern­ment crews and util­ity work­ers im­me­di­ately went to work clear­ing roads blocked by land­slides, top­pled trees and posts and other de­bris. Some towns be­gan send­ing peo­ple in shel­ters back to their homes as the dan­ger passed.

Sarika swept out into the South China Sea in the early af­ter­noon after dump­ing heavy rain across a broad sec­tion of Lu­zon is­land.

How­ever, the weather ser­vice warned the na­tion to brace for a sec­ond storm, with Ty­phoon Haima ex­pected to strike the same area as early as Oc­to­ber 20.

The dis­as­ter agency said nearly 12,500 peo­ple had left their homes shortly be­fore Sarika struck, seek­ing refuge in gov­ern­ment-run shel­ters and rel­a­tives’ homes.

Eleven peo­ple were res­cued after a boat cap­sized off the east­ern is­land of Sa­mar, while about 1000 boats and 6500 pas­sen­gers were stranded in ports as the coast guard barred smaller ves­sels from putting to sea.

Two deaths were re­ported in the Catan­d­u­anes area. The dis­as­ter agency said 290 com­mer­cial flights were can­celled.

The Philip­pine is­lands are of­ten the first ma­jor land­mass to be hit by storms that gen­er­ate over the Pa­cific Ocean. The ar­chi­pel­ago en­dures about 20 ma­jor storms each year, many of them deadly.

Haiyan, the strong­est ty­phoon ever recorded to hit land, smashed into the cen­tral Philip­pines on Novem­ber 8, 2013, leav­ing 7350 peo­ple dead or miss­ing. –

Photo: AFP

Peo­ple col­lect ma­te­rial washed ashore after Ty­phoon Sarika passed north of Manila yes­ter­day.

Photo: EPA

Prince Maha Va­ji­ra­longkorn is the named suc­ces­sor.

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