Thứ Tư, ngày 16 tháng 7 năm 2014

Typhoon Rammasun kills 10 and injures hundreds in central Philippines as ...

  • Winds of up to 115mph force 370,000 people to flee their homes in high-risk villages in the country’s rural interior

  • Falling trees and power lines blamed for majority of deaths, as storm destroys schools and government buildings

  • But death toll could have been much higher, as Typhoon Rammasun changed direction before hitting capital Manila

  • Storm is now blowing out and heading towards South China Sea, but there is concern it may yet regain strength

By

John Hall





    At least 10 people have been killed and hundreds injured after a typhoon swept through the central Philippines, knocking out power lines in much of the country.


    Winds of up to 115mph brought down trees and electrical posts, badly damaged a parked plane and tore the roof of schools and government buildings as Typhoon Rammasun forced 370,000 people to flee their homes in high-risk villages and seek emergency shelter.


    But the death toll would almost certainly be higher had the Typhoon not suddenly changed direction shortly before reaching the capital Manila, heading instead towards the South China Sea.


    Desperate: A resident of Quezon city carries a tank of liquified petroleum gas after evacuating his home as Typhoon Rammasun nears. Winds of up to 115mph have brought down trees and electrical posts, badly damaged a parked plane and tore the roof of schools and government buildings



    Take cover: Residents of Baseco – a slum community near Manila – evacuate to safer ground as Typhoon Rammasun closed in on the capital. The storm changed direction at the last minute, however, continuing on a more rural path and potentially sparing hundreds of lives


    Motorists drive past fallen trees after Typhoon Rammasun battered Taguig city, east of Manila. Typhoon Rammasun knocked out power in many areas of the country


    The typhoon weakened before blowing out

    of the country this morning, heading toward northern Vietnam or

    China’s Hainan Island, forecaster Jori Loiz said.


    But he warned that the typhoon could easily regain strength while crossing the South China Sea.


    In a shantytown at the edge of Manila Bay, hundreds fled when strong wind tore tin roofs. Most were drenched before they reached an evacuation center with the help of emergency workers.


    Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said he was relieved there were no reported deaths after the typhoon sideswiped his city, although its wind still downed trees and damaged seaside shanties, prompting more than 1,000 residents to evacuate.


    ‘It was like a drill…We hauled people away from dangerous seaside areas, whether they liked it or not,’ he said.


    Cleaning up: A young boy tries to sweep out floating debris from their flooded home as Typhoon Rammasun batters suburban Quezon city, north of Manila. The Philippines’ densely-populated northern provinces avoided a direct hit as the storm’s fierce wind shifted slightly from the centre of the country


    Drenched: Workers at a fishing port brave strong winds and rain as Typhoon Rammasun hit Navotas, north of Manila earlier this morning


    Officials reported at least 10 deaths in the Philippines as a whole, mostly people killed in remote towns and villages by falling trees and electrical posts.


    A fire volunteer died when he was hit by a block of concrete while hauling down a Philippine flag in Pasig city, said Francis Tolentino – chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.


    At Manila International airport, the left wing of a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 was damaged after gusts pushed it against a bridge passageway, said manager Angel Honrado. No one was injured.


    Three fishermen were reported missing in Catanduanes, near Albay province, where Typhoon Rammasun made landfall late last night.


    Repairs: Residents try to fix their stall at a market in Taguig City, east of Manila as the bad weather forced 370,000 people to flee their homes


    Seeking shelter: A young boy in Manila evacuates to safer grounds at the onslaught of Typhoon Rammasun, which is known locally known as ‘Glenda’


    There were no immediate estimates of the damage in communities that lost power and telephone connections while being pummeled by the wind and rain.


    With last year’s massive devastation and deaths from Typhoon Haiyan still in many people’s mind, officials said people readily evacuated after being told of the danger.


    Polangui Mayor Cherilie Mella Sampal said 10,000 of the 80,000 residents in Albay town, about 340 kilometers (210 miles) southeast of Manila, left homes before the typhoon struck Tuesday. Sampal said she saw the wind topple electric posts and lift roofs off houses.


    Battered: A man holds a large umbrella at the onslaught of Typhoon Rammasun. The storm has knocked out power in much of the country and has killed 10 people


    Business as usual: A delivery truck negotiates flooded roads as Typhoon Rammasun batters suburban Navotas, north of Manila. The typhoon weakened before blowing out of the country this morning, heading toward northern Vietnam or China’s Hainan Island


    Sampal said residents were worried after witnessing Haiyan’s horrific aftermath in the central Philippines last November. At least 6,300 people died and more than 1,000 were left missing.


    ‘We’re used to and prepared for calamities…But when people heard that the eye of the typhoon will hit the province, they feared we may end up like the victims” of Haiyan,’ Sampul said.


    Rammasun – the Thai term for god of thunder – is the seventh storm to batter the Philippines this year.


    About 20 typhoons and storm lash the archipelago on the western edge of the Pacific each year, making it one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.


    FLOODS FORCE TENS OF THOUSANDS TO FLEE THEIR HOMES IN ANCIENT CHINESE TOWN, AS HEAVY RAIN IN HUNAN PROVINCE CAUSES TUOJIANG RIVER TO BURST ITS BANKS 


    With experts predicting Typhoon Rammasun could gain strength as it heads towards China, deadly floods have already forced tens of thousands of residents to flee their homes in one of the country’s most ancient towns.


    The mass evacuations came after heavy rainfall in Hunan province caused the Tuojiang river to burst its banks, leaving residents of Fenghuang and its surrounding countryside trudging through neck-deep water in some of the worst hit areas.


    Bridges have been badly damaged, cutting off parts of the town altogether, and up to 50,000 tourists and locals were affected by a near-total electricity blackout.


    Flooded: The mass evacuations came after heavy rainfall in Hunan province caused the Tuojiang river to burst its banks, leaving residents of Fenghuang and its surrounding countryside trudging through deep water



    Evacuate: An estimated 4,000 shops have been flooded, with thousands more hotels, bars and restaurants also likely to be underwater



    Xinhua news agency said the Tuojiang river is currently sitting a full 1.1metres above its previous highest recorded level, adding that up to 1,200 search and rescue personnel are currently working to evacuate those affected by the floods.


    An estimated 4,000 shops have been flooded, with thousands more hotels, bars and restaurants also likely to be underwater.


    Much of Fenghuang dates back hundreds of years and boasts stunning Qing and Ming-dynasty era architecture. The areas worst affected by the floods are understood to be the historic ‘old town’, which attracts tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world every year.


    Severe flooding hits central and southern China every year, leading to the deaths of hundreds.


    In May this year floods killed at least 38 people and forced half a million to leave their homes in Guangdong province.


    At

    least 25,000 homes were destroyed and 440,000 people displaced, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said

    in a statement on its website.


    Under threat: Much of Fenghuang dates back hundreds of years and boasts stunning Qing and Ming-dynasty era architecture. The areas worst affected by the floods are understood to be the historic ‘old town’





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    Typhoon Rammasun kills 10 and injures hundreds in central Philippines as ...

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