Typhoon Lupit nears Philippines

Thousands evacuated as storm approaches northern tip of main island.

    The Philippines is struggling to recover after two typhoons hit the country last month [AFP]

    Anticipating a new catastrophe, thousands of residents in areas likely to be affected by Lupit started to move to safer areas, assisted by military troops.

    Government troops and officials were distributing tonnes of canned food, clothes and rescue boats, and have put helicopters on standby along the coast and inland mountains.

    'Lessons learned'

    "We have learned from what we saw of the last typhoons on television. We have lessons learned. I think we are very much ready for this Typhoon Lupit," Ismael Tumaru, mayor of the northern town of Aparri, said.

    In depth

    Video: Diseases spread in Manila floodwaters

    Ventura Reynon, a fisherman, said: "The only ones who can comfortably get through a disaster are the rich, because they have the money to spend. We poor people lose our livelihood whenever there is a storm. We are really the ones who suffer."

    Following the recent storms, many areas in the Philippines remain extremely vulnerable to further bad weather with dams already overflowing and soaked soil unable to absorb more rain.

    Typhoons Ketsana and Parma caused at least $381m in damage to agriculture and infrastructure in the capital, Manila, and other areas of the Luzon island when they hit.

    More than 216,000 people are still sheltered in makeshift evacuation centres.

    In Manila, diseases are spreading in stagnant floodwaters. Leptospirosis has killed around 100 people and it is believed 1.5 million people are at risk.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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