Deadly storm slams into Philippines

Heavy rains and landslides kill 11 people on northeast coast and force thousands to leave their homes.

    Three people died when Typhoon Megi hit the Philippines on October 19, 2010. [Reuters]

    Tropical storm Aere has hit the northeastern Philippines, killing at least 11 people and forcing more than 100,000 villagers to flee from towns threatened by landslides.

    The storm slammed into Catanduanes province on Sunday with winds of 85 km per hour and gusts of 100 km per hour.

    It triggered landslides and floods, disrupted transportation and knocked out power in some towns.

    An elderly woman drowned while trying to cross a swollen river in Daraga town in Albay province, about 340 kilometres southeast of Manila, and a man was electrocuted in a flooded village in Libon town.

    A landslide buried a house in Camarines Sur province's Balatan township at dawn, killing three people, including a baby, regional disaster-response director Bernardo Alejandro said.

    Three men drowned in Catanduanes and Leyte provinces, and a driver died in a truck crash during stormy weather in Camarines Sur, officials said.

    By Monday, the storm was heading towards provinces on the northern Luzon Island, losing strength.


    Authorities have evacuated villages in farming communities at the base of Mayon volcano in Albay, where heavy rain threatened to turn into mudslides.

    Tons of ash have been deposited on Mayon's slope from past eruptions, and mudslides caused by a typhoon in 2006 buried entire villages, leaving about 1,600 people dead and missing, Alejandro said.

    "The villagers evacuated automatically, without resistance,'' Alejandro told the Associated Press news agency. "Many still remember that disaster."

    More than 4,700 commuters were stranded in several seaports after ferries suspended trips and roads were closed due to floods and the danger of landslides, officials said.

    More than 50 international and domestic flights have been cancelled because of the storm.

    Tropical storm Aere is expected to blow northwestward and exit from the country later this week, government weather forecaster Juanito Galang said.

    Taiwan on Monday issued a sea warning and told residents on the eastern and southern parts of the island to watch out for torrential rain.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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