09/28/2011, 00.00
PHILIPPINES

Devastated Manila heals the wounds of typhoon Nesat. Forecasts of another hurricane

The death toll rises to 18 victims, 35 missing. One million people in the island of Luzon are still without electricity. For first time waves break sea barriers, flooding vast inland areas.
Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Philippines is committed to healing the wounds left by Typhoon Nesat, which hit the capital and the main island, Luzon, particularly hard. The death toll has risen to 18 people in the last hours, but 35 others are missing. Most of the fatalities occurred in the vicinity of Manila. Nesat is now lashing the South China Sea with winds reaching 120 km per hour, and should reach the Chinese island of Hainan the day after tomorrow.

Electricity will be restored to central Manila during the day, officials say, and subway services should also return to normal. But on the island of Luzon more than a million people are still without electricity. The emergency crews are at work everywhere, to clean the streets from felled trees, debris and cars. Today they schools and offices have reopened. Some areas are still flooded, the including Manila Ocean Park and Taft Avenue. The U.S. embassy, which was flooded during the typhoon, is still closed. The waves caused by Nesat have broken the protective sea barrier, allowing the waters of Manila Bay to flood large inland areas. It is the first time that this has occurred.

The flooding on the island of Luzon have been made more significant by the government's decision to open four dams where the water was reaching alarm limits. Relief workers are racing against time to restore normalcy as another hurricane that could hit the Philippines in the coming days is brewing the Pacific Ocean. Nesat has a diameter of 650 km and hit the Pacific coast with winds that reached to 170 kilometers per hour and is the 16th typhoon of the season to hit the archipelago.

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