News / Asia

Thousands Flee as Manila-Bound Typhoon Batters East Philippines

Residents strengthen their homes built on stilts as they brace for incoming Typhoon Rammasun, beside Manila's bay, Philippines on Tuesday, July 15, 2014. Residents strengthen their homes built on stilts as they brace for incoming Typhoon Rammasun, beside Manila's bay, Philippines on Tuesday, July 15, 2014.
x
Residents strengthen their homes built on stilts as they brace for incoming Typhoon Rammasun, beside Manila's bay, Philippines on Tuesday, July 15, 2014.
Residents strengthen their homes built on stilts as they brace for incoming Typhoon Rammasun, beside Manila's bay, Philippines on Tuesday, July 15, 2014.
Reuters

Thousands of people in the Philippines fled from their homes on Tuesday as the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year made landfall, toppling trees and cutting power as it made its way straight towards the capital, Manila.

Parts of the Philippines are still recovering from Typhoon Haiyan, one of the biggest cyclones known to have made landfall anywhere, which killed more than 6,100 people last year, many in tsunami-like sea surges, and left millions homeless.

Typhoon RammusanTyphoon Rammusan
x
Typhoon Rammusan
Typhoon Rammusan

Typhoon Rammasun, with gusts of up to 160 kph (99 mph) and sustained winds of 130 kph (81 mph) near its center, hit land over Rapu-Rapu island in the eastern province of Albay, the weather bureau said.

It is expected to cross the main Luzon island at 19 kph (12 mph), with the eye of the storm likely to be over the capital before noon (0400 GMT) on Wednesday.

"The wind is very strong, we are really being battered," Joey Salceda, governor of coconut- and rice-growing Albay province said in a television interview, adding he expected high economic losses rather than casualties.

The province ordered the evacuation of low-lying and coastal areas, as well as villages at risk of landslides.

Tropical Storm Risk upgraded Rammasun to a category-three typhoon, on a scale of one to five of which five is the most severe. It is expected to bring moderate to intense rainfall of up to 20 mm per hour within its 500-km (300-mile) radius.

It is the strongest storm to threaten the country since Haiyan, a category-five "super typhoon," wiped out nearly everything in its path when it crossed over the central Philippines in November.

Rammasun was expected to bring storm surges of up to three meters (10 feet) in coastal villages, the weather bureau said.

The storm would be the first in about four years to score a direct hit on Manila and storm surges were also likely in Manila Bay.

Full alert

Disaster officials said at least 300,000 people had fled from their homes in Albay province alone, and almost 6,000 ferry passengers were stranded in ports after the coast guard suspended voyages.

About 40 provinces, cities and municipalities on Luzon island, including the capital, suspended all schools and colleges. Thirty domestic and international flights were cancelled, said Alexander Pama, head of the national disaster agency.

Albay and Camarines Sur provinces declared a state of calamity, officials said, which will allow the release of funds for relief efforts.

President Benigno Aquino said the armed forces were on full alert.

"I reiterate, the objective has to be: minimize the casualties and the hardship of our people," Aquino said.

The storm will pass north of Eastern Samar and Leyte, the provinces worst hit by Haiyan, where some residents are still living in tents due to slow recovery efforts. Those areas may see heavy rain and strong winds.

Governor Miguel Villafuerte of Camarines Sur said he had asked the army to help with mandatory evacuations. But despite all the warnings, many residents were reluctant to leave home.

"We are prepared for the worst," said 67-year-old Rosemarie Poblete of Tobaco City in Albay, whose family of four lives near a river swollen by heavy rain early on Tuesday.

"We bought extra food and candles and are ready for any emergency," she told Reuters.

You May Like

Photogallery US Storm Falls Short of Severe Predictions, Yet Affects Millions

NYC mayor says, 'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' yet blizzard warnings, travel bans remain for several East Coast states More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle with Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people were displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid