» 09/28/2011, 00.00
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.
Philippines, four dead and 150 thousand people displaced by the passage of Typhoon Nesat
The typhoon hit the central island of Luzon with torrential rains and winds over 170 km. Experts say it is the strongest since 2009. Fears of rivers of mud in the Mayon volcano area, 170 km from Manila.
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Taipei, Morakot death toll “over 500”
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou admits for first time to number of deaths. Government agency speaks of "more than 390 people buried alive" in the village of Hsiaolin in the south of the island, the hardest hit by the typhoon. Political controversy mounts overt delays and inefficiency in relief.
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Philippine President intends to accelerate the aid distribution to victims. But the heavy rains caused by a tropical depression make relief operations difficult. More than 660 thousand displaced, but there are still no official figures of the tragedy. The country's economic growth at risk. First attacks on the executive’s emergency management of the typhoon.
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The aim is to improve intervention, with foreign aid going to distinct blocks. So far, almost 4,000 people are known to have died but the final tally is not yet in. Catholics continue their work for typhoon victims. About 68,000 parcels with basic necessities have been distributed so far. About US$ 300,000 have been raised to fund relief operations.
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P. Samir Youssef
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