- Title: PHILIPPINES: Ten dead in Philippines as typhoon heads for Vietnam
- Date: 31st October 2006
- Summary: FACADE OF NATIONAL DISASTER AND COORDINATING CENTRE
- Embargoed: 15th November 2006 12:00
- Location: Philippines
- Country: Philippines
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Weather
- Reuters ID: LVA9YDH0C0ZHHJ9ON9MJG9M3L4LD
- Story Text: Thousands of residents in northern Philippines were sheltering in evacuation centres on Tuesday (October 31) after Typhoon Cimaron swept through rural provinces, killing at least 10 people with fierce winds and raging waters.
Cimaron slammed into Luzon, the Philippines' most populated island and its rice bowl, on Sunday night as a maximum category five storm or "super typhoon", tearing up trees, power lines and roofs and destroying houses and roads.
The typhoon, the second to hit the Philippines in over a month, weakened as it swept out of the archipelago on Monday and was churning westwards towards Vietnam with winds of 120 km per hour (75 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 150 kph.
Storm tracker www.tropicalstormrisk.com showed Cimaron picking up speed and tipping northwards en route to Vietnam, bringing stormy weather to Hong Kong and the Chinese island of Hainan on Wednesday morning.
Cimaron is expected to hit Vietnam as a category 1 typhoon on Friday morning.
"The typhoon is now heading towards the eastern coast of Vietnam and our country is now focusing on relief response efforts and the President has instructed us to take care of human safety in the evacuation centres and at the same time those trapped or isolated in different barangays have to be responded to as soon as possible," said Dr. Anthony Golez, spokesman of the Office of Civil Defence.
At least five people were reported drowned or killed by falling trees in the coastal province of Isabela, according to local mayor Renato Candido. There were at least five other reported fatalities, disaster officials said.
The Office of Civil Defence said police were still verifying reports of several landslides.
Over 2,000 people were evacuated to makeshift accommodation while nearly 180,000 were affected by wind damage, landslides and flooding. Power was slowly returning to four provinces.
The storm disrupted thousands of travellers on the move for the Roman Catholic festivals of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day on Nov. 1 and 2, when millions of Filipinos throng cemeteries to honour their dead.
Cimaron was estimated to have destroyed around 114 billion billion pesos (2.3 billion U.S. dollars) worth of crops, fisheries and livestock. The bill for damage to roads, bridges and schools was put at 25 billion pesos.
"Beans, one hectare of beans here. Now gone. Washed away by the flood. The typhoon came before we were able to harvest the beans," said farmer Lolita Pascual.
The Department of Agriculture has said that the typhoon destroyed around 8 percent of rice and corn due for harvesting before the end of the year.
"We need help now. We need to rehabilitate our protection dike ruined by the typhoon. It is thirty years old. It should be repaired," said Roberto Agcaoili, mayor of San Mateo town.
Cimaron crashed into the archipelago just weeks after Typhoon Xangsane raked the Philippines and Vietnam, killing at least 169 people and taking a heavy toll on electricity networks, roads and crops.
The Philippines cut its annual agricultural growth target to around 4 percent for 2006 from at least 5 percent due to the destruction wrecked by Xangsane.
Storms regularly hit the Philippines but parts of northern Luzon are mountainous and heavily logged, raising the risk of more floods and landslides.
In the worst disaster in recent years, more than 5,000 people died in the central province of Leyte in 1991 in floods triggered by a typhoon.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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