Arroyo decries slow typhoon relief

Durian, downgraded to tropical storm, kills dozens after hitting Vietnam.

     Soldiers burying unidentified bodies in a mass grave in Albay, one of the worst hit areas in the Philippines

    "Landslides and flash floods are becoming a serious threat to our people and the present and past events remain a hard and painful reminder of constant preparedness," Arroyo said.
     
    Durian slammed into central Philippines on Thursday, one notch below a category 5 super-typhoon, killing an estimated 1,000 people and leaving about 800,000 homeless.
     
    The typhoon skirted Vietnam's southern coast and went inland with winds of up to 120kph.
     

    Hundreds of thousands have been
    displaced by Typhoon Durian

    Hundreds of fishing boats were sunk and houses damaged in the Mekong Delta provinces, an area not usually struck by typhoons or strong tropical storms.
     
    The country's national flood and storm control centre said 147 people were injured and 15 missing.
     
    It received reports on casualties and missing persons from four provinces.
     
    One of it, Binh Thuan, reported roofs blown off more than 1,100 houses and 22 schools and the sinking of about 820 boats.
     
    Ba Ria Vung Tau, a province 100km south of Vietnam's commercial capital, Ho Chi Minh City, reported that roofs were blown off 500 houses.
     
    Nguyen Sinh Hung, the deputy prime minister of Vietnam, warned provincial leaders not to underestimate the strength of the typhoon.
     
    In 1997, a storm named Linda caused death and destruction in southern Vietnam.
     
    Weather forecasters were expecting to downgrade Durian to a tropical storm which they said was heading west towards the Gulf of Thailand, across Thailand and into the Indian ocean.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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