Sunday, October 18, 2015

23,000 flee Typhoon Koppu’s advance

A teenager was crushed to death as powerful Typhoon Koppu tore down trees and houses and unleashed landslides and floods across a wide swath of the Philippines on Sunday, forcing thousands to flee.

At least eight other people have been reported missing. Military and volunteer rescue teams were dispatched to the rice-farming province of Nueva Ecija, where rivers burst their banks and flooded several villages, authorities said.

"People are asking for help because the floodwaters are rising. The rescuers cannot penetrate the area as of now," Nigel Lontoc, the assistant civil defense chief for the region, told AFP.

Television footage showed raging brown rivers swallowing up homes and carrying off large debris, including tree trunks.

Philippine broadcaster ABS-CBN showed a photograph of blue-clad police officers holding onto a rope and wading into chest-deep floodwaters to rescue trapped residents.

The government said more than 23,000 people had already been evacuated from the path of Koppu, which also disrupted ferry services and Aviation.

Koppu made landfall before dawn in the remote fishing town of Casiguran, whipping the coast with gusts of up to 210 kilometers per hour for nearly seven hours before moving inland.

"Koppu tore off roofs of homes made of light materials. Rivers overflowed, and the roads to the area are blocked by downed power pylons and trees," Lontoc said.

It later battered the Pantabangan Dam in the southern foothills of the Cordillera, the country's largest mountain range, with gusts of 185 kilometers per hour. A large tree toppled and crushed a house in Manila, killing a 14-year-old boy and injuring four other people, Alexander Pama, head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Council, told reporters in Manila.

Officials said that more people are expected to flee as the now-weakened storm makes its way to the northern tip of Luzon, the Asian country's largest island and home to about half its national population of 100 million people.

Aurelio Umali - governor of Nueva Ecija province, which includes the municipality of Pantabangan - told ABS-CBN that rescuers saw two human bodies floating in one of the flooded villages. However, Lontoc stated that the two bodies have not yet been recovered.

Lontoc said three people in the coastal resort town of Baler, near Casiguran, are missing after a large wave struck their house, and three fishermen are also missing on Manila Bay.

The authorities warned that heavy rains could still trigger flash floods and landslides in the Cordillera, known for its spectacular rice terraces carved into the slopes of towering mountains.

"People must remain alert while we try to pick up the pieces in areas already hit," Pama said as he urged local officials to evacuate those Cordillera villages deemed most at risk.
   AFP
 eletos.org.gr

 18/10/15

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1 comment:

  1. Three people were feared dead and thousands evacuated in the northern Philippines as Typhoon Koppu destroyed homes and knocked over trees and power lines Sunday..

    A 14-year-old boy was reportedly killed when a tree fell on his family’s house in Quezon City in Metro Manila.

    According to the Inquirer, six others were wounded in the incident.

    Nueva Ecija province’s governor Aurelio Umali told ABS-CBN News that two people were reportedly dead in Palayan City, but had yet to be identified.

    "We have yet to get the names of the two casualties because right now, the rescue operation is not yet finished in that area," he said Sunday afternoon. "I have no other information if there are victims in other towns due to the difficulties in communication posed by Lando [Koppu’s local name]."

    The National Disaster Risk Reduction Council in Manila said officials were still gathering reports from the field as the storm swept through the area packing winds of up to 210 kilometers (130 miles) per hour.

    According to the Council’s 3 p.m. (0700GMT) report, 1,074 families – or 4,018 individuals – had been evacuated in Aurora province alone, where strong winds toppled power towers, causing widespread power outage.............http://www.aa.com.tr/en/guncel/philippines-3-feared-dead-as-typhoon-hits-north/447699

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