10/18/2010, 00.00
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Super-typhoon Megi hits northern Luzon. One dead

It is the strongest typhoon of the season, with winds of 260 km per hour and 50 mm of rain per hour. Thirty provinces on alert. The dead man is a fisherman drowned on the coast. By evening it is due to hit China and Vietnam.

Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Typhoon Megi - perhaps the most violent of the season - hit the northern Philippines this morning, causing landslides on the mountainous areas, high waves on the coasts, ripping up roofs in towns and one death.

The typhoon is moving toward the southwest at a speed of 19 km / h, causing winds of up to 260 km per hour, dropping 50 inches of rain per hour.

The province of Isabela and Cagayan, located on the north-east of the island of Luzon are the areas most at risk, but 28 other provinces have been put on alert. Airports are closed and thousands of people were evacuated in anticipation of the arrival of the typhoon. The coast guards have detained the boats of fishermen who want to venture into the sea. Benito Ramos, head of civil defense said that the only victim, so far, is a fisherman drowned on the coast of Tuguegarao.

The Philippines is hit every year by a score of typhoons, often fatal. Last year, in September and October 2009, the tropical storm Ketsana and typhoon Parma - that had the same intensity of Megi - caused flooding and damage to industry and agriculture. More than a thousand people died at least 10 million suffered damages.

Typhoon Megi is expected to decline in intensity as it moves beyond the Philippine Cordillera, but increase in strength in the South China Sea before making landfall overnight in China and Vietnam.

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