12/06/2006, 00.00
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Typhoon Durian: reconstruction could take years

This is the estimation of the Filipino authorities. The typhoon killed 1200 people and buried 700 villages. Moving to Vietnam, it left 54 dead in its wake.

Manila (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Reconstruction could take years in the eastern province of Albay after Typhoon Durian last week, according to the authorities in the Philippines. Today, shops reopened and some telephone lines were repaired, but works to repair damage done are proceeding slowly, not least because many personnel employed in public works and government offices were directly affected by the mud slides and debris provoked by the typhoon.

Durian hit the eastern Philippines between 30 November and 1 December: the latest death toll reported is 1,200, including those who are missing. In all, one and a half million people were affected by the typhoon, with 2,500 homes destroyed and damage to property estimated to be around five and a half million dollars. The typhoon hit hardest those villages surrounding Mount Mayon, an active volcano around 320km south of Manila. Here, torrential rains led to mud slides and the dislodging of great boulders. The debris buried more than 700 villages.

On 4 December, the typhoon shifted to the south of Vietnam. Although it was less intense, nonetheless it left destruction in its wake. At the moment, rescue workers are searching for around 50 missing people and 54 people have been reported killed. The Vinh Long provincial flood and storm control committee said the storm was over and had turned into a tropical depression which was moving toward the Gulf of Thailand.

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