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  • Killer storms pound Philippines
    Wednesday, November 28, 2007
    Rescuers went on full alert after Typhoon Mitag slammed into the Philippines, killing at least eight people and forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes in one of the country's largest evacuation operations in recent history.
    Mitag pounded the northern city of Tuguegarao on the island of Luzon yesterday, bringing strong winds and heavy rain, knocking out power lines and causing widespread flooding.

    Meanwhile, tropical storm Hagibis bore down on the western island of Palawan from the South China Sea, where officials said a Philippine air force plane went missing while looking for 25 crewmen of a Filipino fishing boat that was sunk by the storm last week.

    Mitag uprooted large trees, blew away huts and caused heavy damage to agriculture. It also caused landslides and flooding, although there were no immediate reports of large casualties.

    The typhoon killed eight people in the Bicol peninsula southeast of Manila. Rescuers said two others were missing in Apayao province after a swollen river washed away a house.

    Last week, Hagibis killed 13 people on its initial pass over the southern and central Philippines. Hagibis, packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers an hour, is expected to near the Palawan city of Puerto Princesa by early today and pass over Mindoro island south of Manila early tomorrow.

    Weather forecasters are monitoring another potential storm on the Pacific Ocean side.

    "We will continue to have stormy weather for the whole week, with Mitag expected to merge with two other disturbances," said chief weather forecaster Nathaniel Cruz.

    Nearly 300,000 people were evacuated from six provinces before Mitag hit, in one of the largest such operations, although nearly half had returned home by yesterday morning.

    Health Secretary Francisco Duque deployed medical staff at evacuation centers and ordered staff at all government hospitals on 24-hour standby. He fears disease may break out where there is poor sanitation and overcrowding.

    Flash floods hit three towns in northern Cagayan province, while a landslide cut a major highway to Ilocos Norte province.

    posted by Moderator Image Hosted by Londen time 6:16 PM  
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    The tropical cyclone data presented at this site are intended to convey only general information on current storms and must not be used to make life or death decisions or decisions relating to the protection of property: the data may not be accurate. If you are in the path of a storm you should be listening to official information sources. These data have no official status and should not be used for emergency response decision-making under any circumstances