10/19/2010, 00.00
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Super-typhoon Megis leaves the Philippines: 10 dead and thousands displaced

The typhoon is approaching the southern coast of China. On the island of Luzon, the most affected by winds, over 7900 displaced persons and damage to agriculture for 5 million euro. Caritas and Catholic organisations at the forefront in helping the homeless.

Manila (AsiaNews) – The toll from the super-typhoon Megis is 10 dead and thousands displaced in the eastern part of Luzon island (Northern Philippines). The typhoon is now heading toward the southern coasts of China.

Billed as the strongest typhoon of the last four years, Megis released up to 55 mm of rain in a matter of minutes, sweeping the coast with winds exceeding 260 km / h. The provinces most affected are La Union, Pangasinan, Isabela, Aurora, Benguet, Kalinga and Mountain, where at present there are about 7900 people left homeless.

Sr. Isabela Buluwan, coordinator of the Caritas aid program of the Philippines, said that so far there are about 200 displaced people housed in shelters in Baguio City and they are awaiting news from other dioceses affected by the typhoon.

The fury of wind and rain has devastated the local economy. In the single province of Cagayan, among the most important centres for the production of rice, over 10% of the fields have been damaged. According to preliminary estimates by the government in the island of Luzon damage to crops amounts to more than 5 million euro, while damage to infrastructure amounted to 270 thousand euro.

Each year, the Philippines is hit by typhoons that often result in tens of deaths and serious damage to crops and infrastructure. To date, the population of Manila and the northern regions is still suffering from the damage caused by super typhoon Ketsana and tropical storm Parma, that between September and October 2009 claimed more than a thousand lives and three million displaced.


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