Disasters & Accidents

At least 8 dead after Typhoon Noru slams Philippines

Manila, Sep 27 (EFE).- At least eight people were killed and another three were missing in the Philippines on Tuesday after the passage of Typhoon Noru, which has also caused the country’s agriculture billions of dollars in losses.

The typhoon is now barreling towards Vietnam and Cambodia with winds of up to 175 kilometers per hour (109 miles per hour).

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on Tuesday reported three more deaths in the provinces of Zambales (2) and Quezon (1) in addition to the five recorded the previous day.

Those first five victims were rescuers who drowned while trying to evacuate residents from a neighborhood in the town of San Miguel de Bulacan, on Luzon island early Monday.

Meanwhile, three fishermen are still missing in Camarines Norte near the area where the typhoon made landfall on the eastern coast of the northern island of Luzon.

The storm, which was initially declared a super typhoon and given the highest warning level by the Philippine weather service before making landfall at 8.20 pm on Sunday, has caused some $2.4 billion worth of damage to agriculture, officials from the Department of Agriculture confirmed to the media.

The typhoon has particularly affected rice crops in Luzon as the country faces a shortage of certain products and global raw material prices are rising.

Aerial images show large expanses of flooded fields, especially in areas near rivers and streams, which overflowed due to the intense rainfall unleashed by the typhoon.

About 14,000 families – some 74,000 people – were evacuated by authorities on Sunday in the provinces of Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, and several cities in the northern metropolitan area of Manila. Many of them are returning to their homes, Civil Defense officials told reporters.

Noru, which swept across Luzon in the northern Philippines from east to west on Sunday, is now heading for the coast of Vietnam, and has intensified slightly across the ocean.

However, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration maintains the warning level for the storm at 4 out of a maximum of 5.

Experts say that the higher-than-usual speed of 20 kph at which the typhoon traveled and the Sierra Madre mountain range, which lessened the intensity of the storm, have reduced its impact in the country. EFE


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