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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Typhoon Megi ("Juan") Leaves 12 Dead in the Philippines

I couldn't help myself but to shed a tear when I was watching the news about what's going on in the Philippines right now. I would like to share this news that I've found online with you all.

MANILA, Philippines—The strongest typhoon in the world this year hit the country, making its way out of northern Luzon but its howling winds and continuous rains from Monday night to Tuesday morning left at least 12 people dead.

“Juan” is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility on Wednesday afternoon after slowing down in the South China Sea.

In another report, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Tuesday that Typhoon “Juan” could be pushed back to the Philippines by two weather systems in the vicinity of China which were holding the typhoon back from its northwesterly track.

Science Undersecretary Graciano Yumul, PAGASA officer-in-charge, said "Juan" had become “quasi-stationary” as it moved away from the Philippine area of responsibility because of the two high-pressure areas northwest of the archipelago.

Many areas in northern Luzon remained without power and communications facilities a day after Super-typhoon “Juan” (international code name: Megi) ripped over the region with gusts of 260 kilometers per hour.

“The waves in Maconacon were as big as houses and swamped the town plaza facing the Pacific Ocean,” Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy said over dzBB radio as he appealed for help.

Dy said water, food and medicine were desperately needed in Maconacon, a village of about 4,000 people that remained isolated and only accessible by helicopter or by small boat.

Three people in Maconacon drowned in the storm surge and many others were wounded on Monday, he said.

Dy said he could not give a full report of the damage to all coastal areas because the 240-kilometer northeastern shoreline of Isabela remained difficult to reach.

The super-typhoon destroyed huge tracts of rice and corn crops, an official said, warning the country could be forced to import more rice.

Nearly 100,000 hectares of rice and corn crops had been destroyed across Isabela, one of the Philippines’ key farming regions, Governor Dy said.

The Philippines, the world’s largest rice importer, imported 2.4 million tons of rice last year.

Initial field reports are not encouraging, with the governor of the key agricultural province of Isabela estimating 385,000 tons of rice and 46,400 tons of corn will be lost.

Damage to agriculture was initially placed at more than P1.55 billion, with rice and vegetable farmers taking heavy losses, the Department of Agriculture said.

Assistant Agriculture Secretary Salvador Salacup said the figure was a “conservative” estimate.

The strong winds had dissipated after Juan moved off the west coast of Luzon early on Tuesday morning. But it continued to unleash rain after its trajectory toward China stalled and it hovered near Luzon throughout Tuesday.

“Its radius is 300 kilometers so even if it has left the country, rains will continue to affect us, probably until tonight,” said Benito Ramos, head of the national disaster monitoring council.

As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, Juan was spotted 280 km west northwest of Dagupan City, moving at 7 kph toward China. At its fastest, Juan moved at 24 kph.

The typhoon carried maximum winds of 175 kph near the center and gusts of up to 210 kph in the open sea.

At a 5 p.m. briefing Tuesday, Aldczar Aurelio, a junior government forecaster, said the typhoon was almost stationary in the South China Sea Tuesday morning. A high pressure area northwest of Juan prevented it from moving further for a few hours, he said.

Due to bad weather, eight flights to and from Batanes and Palawan were canceled at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Tuesday.

Schools were suspended in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon amid fears of flash floods, while rescue workers tried to reach villagers stranded in remote areas that were cut off by the typhoon.

Buri Tree Kills 3

Elsewhere in Luzon, nine people were reported killed.

In Pangasinan, a mother and her two children were killed on Monday night in San Fabian town after a buri tree pinned them down while the typhoon was raging.

Paterno Orduña, executive officer of the provincial disaster council, identified the victims as Ana Vidal, 29, and her daughter EJ, 4, and son Ogie, 2.

The three were lying on the floor and were about to sleep at 7:30 p.m. when the tree fell on their house.

Their deaths brought to four the number of typhoon-related fatalities in Pangasinan. On Monday morning, Reddy Espinosa, a farmer in Mangatarem town, died after he was hit by lightning.

In Nueva Ecija, the provincial disaster council said Roberto Alcaybar drowned while he was crossing a river in Carranglan town on Monday night.

Thanks to for these information. God Bless the PHILIPPINES!


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