Typhoon season starts in the Philippines, 20 dead and dozens missing
Wind and rain were especially hard on shantytowns along the coast and in the outskirts of the capital. Wind swept away the roofs of tin shacks and flipped houseboats, the most common form of housing of the very poor.
The Philippines is located along the so-called typhoon belt of the Pacific. Up to 20 typhoons and tropical storms howl their way across the country each year, killing hundreds of people.
The ferocity of this typhoon caught Manila residents unaware. Many blame the state weather service and the country's National Disaster Coordinating Council, which failed to warn people in time, and then only in the provinces north of the capital.
President Aquino slammed officials for the failure.
In 2009, 1,128 died because of typhoons, and more than 1.3 million were displaced.
Damages were estimated to be US$ 4 billion or 2.6 per cent of GDP.