News / Asia

    Philippines Begins Cleanup After Typhoon

    Residents of the slum community of Baseco evacuate to safer grounds at the onslaught of Typhoon Rammasun in Manila, Philippines, July 16, 2014.
    Residents of the slum community of Baseco evacuate to safer grounds at the onslaught of Typhoon Rammasun in Manila, Philippines, July 16, 2014.
    Simone Orendain

    The Philippine government turned its focus to cleaning up after a strong typhoon cut across the northern island of Luzon Wednesday, causing flooding in the capital, killing at least 10 people and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands. 

    The storm is now headed toward contested parts of the South China Sea, where Chinese and Vietnamese ships have sparred around a controversial oil drilling project.

    Typhoon Rammasun blew from the southeast corner of Luzon to the Manila capital region on Wednesday, with winds between 150 and 185 kph.

    Its gusts knocked out power, tore roofs off houses and uprooted trees, leaving piles of broken branches and downed power lines on the roads.

    • Residents charge their mobile phones with electricity from generators provided for free by the government, during a blackout inside a town hall, after Typhoon Rammasun battered the town of Rosario, Cavite city, south of Manila, July 18, 2014.
    • People gather at the waterfront of Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor, July 17, 2014.
    • Chinese coast guards patrol on a boat as ships are docked in the port before the landfall of Typhoon Rammasun, at a port in Haikou, Hainan, province July 17, 2014.
    • A man climbs on a fallen tree which damaged four houses in Rosario, July 18, 2014.
    • A resident queues with plastic containers to collect drinking water in Rosario, July 18, 2014.
    • Residents lift a house damaged by Typhoon Rammasun in Batangas city, south of Manila, July 17, 2014.
    • A young boy turns to look at the camera as residents repair a roofless stilt house damaged by Typhoon Rammasun in Batangas city, south of Manila, July 17, 2014.
    • A child sits amid the remains of a house destroyed by Typhoon Rammasun in Batangas city, south of Manila, July 17, 2014.
    • A small girl rests on a school desk inside an evacuation center after Typhoon Rammasun battered the coastal bay of Baseco compound, metro Manila, July 16, 2014.
    • A man uses a chain saw to remove a huge tree that fell on top of a car during the onslaught of Typhoon Rammasun that hit Makati City in Manila, July 16, 2014.
    • Squatter homes partially destroyed by Typhoon Rammasun in the coastal town of Bacoor, Cavite, southwest of Manila, July 16, 2014.
    • Fishing boats amid heavy winds and rain brought by Typhoon Rammasun (locally named Glenda) as it hit the town of Imus, Cavite southwest of Manila, July 16, 2014.


    Department of Science and Technology Assistant Secretary Raymund Liboro said, based on initial observations around the capital region, precipitation played a lesser role in the storm's destruction.

    “The wind-impact could be more felt than the rain, in the sense that here in Metro Manila, there wasn’t widespread flooding that accompanied such a magnitude of a storm,” Liboro said.

    A resident carries a tank of liquified petroleum gas as he negotiates a flooded area while Typhoon Rammasun nears suburban Quezon city, Philippines, July 16, 2014.A resident carries a tank of liquified petroleum gas as he negotiates a flooded area while Typhoon Rammasun nears suburban Quezon city, Philippines, July 16, 2014.
    x
    A resident carries a tank of liquified petroleum gas as he negotiates a flooded area while Typhoon Rammasun nears suburban Quezon city, Philippines, July 16, 2014.
    A resident carries a tank of liquified petroleum gas as he negotiates a flooded area while Typhoon Rammasun nears suburban Quezon city, Philippines, July 16, 2014.

    Passed over capital

    The eye of Typhoon Rammasun, the strongest storm to hit the country this year, passed south of Manila on Wednesday.

    Philippine Civil Defense Officials said close to 400,000 people living in vulnerable areas or along waterways were affected. Schools, government and private businesses were shuttered.

    The Philippine Coast Guard said about 5,000 ferry passengers remain stranded in various ports after travel was suspended. 

    Liboro said the storm will pick up strength as it passes over the South China Sea. 

    The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii expected Typhoon Rammasun's wind speeds to top 230 kph in the next 24 hours, growing in strength even later.

    Forecasters charting the storm’s path said it appears headed in the direction of the Paracel islands, where China announced on Tuesday that it was moving a controversial oil-drilling rig.

    Since Beijing announced the deployment of the rig to the region two months ago, it has been a flashpoint between Vietnam and China.

    Hanoi said the rig's site is located inside its exclusive economic zone. China rejected that claim, saying the location is within the territorial waters of islands that China claims ownership over.

    Beijing said the billion-dollar rig is being moved closer to China’s Hainan Island because it had completed its exploration work.

    Move 'defuses the tension'

    But Carl Thayer, a security analyst with the Australian Defense Force Academy, said it may not be a coincidence that the state-run China National Offshore Oil Corporation announced this week it had completed its exploration project more than a month ahead of its projected finish.

    “Partly because of this new typhoon [Rammasun], which is not heading directly to where the rig is but will bring bad weather, and China has over 100 ships surrounding it and it could prove very risky especially for smaller boats. So this typhoon provides an opportunity to stand down earlier,” Thayer said.

    Thayer said for now, removing the rig “completely defuses the tension” between Vietnam and China, because the Chinese vessels will likely leave, eliminating the chance of confrontation with Vietnamese ships.

    In addition to the oil rig, China has also been reportedly building up islands in disputed areas of the South China Sea to solidify its claims over the region. Most of the building has been documented south of the Paracels, in the Spratly Islands, which are out of the main path of Typhoon Rammasun.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora