| Typhoon set to hit Philippines: forecasters
| Thursday, October 22, 2009
|MANILA — Typhoon Lupit was poised to slam into the north coast of the Philippines, forecasters said Thursday, as the cyclone-devastated nation sought foreign aid to rebuild and to fight a deadly outbreak of disease.
After an erratic track over the past few days, the typhoon was set to make landfall with gusts of up to 195 kilometres (121 miles) an hour, chief government weather forecaster Prisco Nilo told a news conference.
"With the eye so close to land, it is highly unlikely that the typhoon would veer north to Taiwan and spare the Philippines," Nilo added.
According to the current track given by the weather service, the eye was expected to pass just south of Aparri town on Luzon island's northeast coast around 5:00 am Friday (2100 GMT Thursday).
However, Nilo said the typhoon should be over land for no more than 12 hours. "This should mean comparatively less rainfall," he added.
Floods, landslides and disease killed 1,050 people over the past month in the wake of tropical storms Ketsana and Parma, and the authorities said nearly 1.3 million people were still living in flooded conditions.
Some 200,000 others were stranded at evacuation camps.
Earlier Thursday as Lupit's threat appeared to wane, President Gloria Arroyo urged the nation to "continue to pray that it would weaken further and spare the country".
The National Disaster Coordinating Council said in a statement that soldiers and paramedics had been deployed on the north coast with rescue boats, trucks and emergency supplies in place in case evacuations were necessary.
It said more than 100 government buildings were on standby as possible evacuation camps in the nearby Cordillera region, devastated by landslides caused by Parma.
Meanwhile, Filipino and World Bank officials said the country would seek international aid to rebuild as the government began a "post-disaster needs assessment" with multilateral aid agencies.
"The huge tasks at hand both in terms of short-term recovery and long-term reconstruction demand no less than a concerted response from all sectors of society and the global community," Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said.
Manila is also seeking international help to fight a deadly bacterial outbreak that has infected 1,963 people in flooded areas and killed 148.
|posted by Moderator Londen time 8:08 PM