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Philippines Inundated by 4th Typhoon in One Month

4th typhoon leaves 20 dead in Philippines


The Associated Press,  Nov . 1, 2009

MANILA, Philippines - A tropical storm roared toward Vietnam on Sunday after battering the Philippine capital and surrounding provinces, leaving 20 people dead in a region still soggy from three recent storms.

Typhoon Mirinae weakened Sunday as it headed over the South China Sea. It was expected to strike Vietnam's central coast around noon Monday.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung ordered residents to begin evacuating high-risk areas of five coastal provinces and ordered Vietnamese fishermen in the South China Sea to seek shelter immediately.

The two countries are still recovering from Typhoon Ketsana, which brought the Philippine capital, Manila, its worst flooding in 40 years and went on to kill more than 160 people in Vietnam in late September.

Ketsana and two later storms killed more than 900 in the Philippines. Some 87,000 people who fled the storms were still living in temporary shelters when Mirinae struck.

The latest typhoon left 20 dead, mostly from drowning, in six provinces. Four people were missing, disaster response officials said.

The storm did not keep the largely Roman Catholic country from paying respects to the dead on All Saints Day on Sunday. Huge crowds jammed cemeteries, with some people visiting still-flooded ones by boat.

In Rizal province, just east of Manila, villagers carrying flowers and candles paddled canoes into a rural cemetery that resembled a lake.

Joel Librilla thrust his hands into the waist-high waters to feel the letters on submerged tombstones in a search for his mother's grave.

"We don't know where to light our candles," Librilla told the Associated Press Television News. "But my mother should know that this is for her."

Forecasters said they were watching a low pressure area 379 miles (610 kilometers) off the country's eastern coast over the Pacific, but it was too early to tell if it will develop into yet another storm.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Fourth typhoon in month hits Philippines, Nov. 1, 2009  


 (CNN) -- The fourth typhoon to hit the Philippines in a month came ashore east of the capital, Manila, on Saturday morning, bringing heavy rain, flooding, and washing away shanty houses near the coast.

Typhoon Mirinae quickly moved west into the South China Sea and became a tropical storm. It was forecast to continue due west and then take a slight turn south, hitting Vietnam in about 48 hours, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

There were power flashes across Manila, as the storm hit Saturday and cut the electricity supply, videographer James Reynolds said. The storm was weaker than expected, he said, but it still brought fierce winds and lots of rain.

"The wind and the rain and the floods have still caused quite a considerable amount of damage, certainly in the southeastern portion of the city, which is where we were," Reynolds told CNN by phone from Manila. "We saw many shanty-type houses that had been washed away and residents frantically try to get hold of their household material."

The storm dropped at least 85 millimeters (3.3 inches) of rain on Manila. The city of Daet, on the eastern coast, received 149 millimeters (5.8 inches) of rain, and Virac, which sits on an island that juts into the Pacific, received 72 millimeters (2.8 inches) of rain.

The first of the four typhoons to batter the Philippines happened in late September, when Ketsana drenched the island nation with its heaviest rainfall in 40 years. Eighty percent of Manila flooded and more than 420 people died.

Flooding from Ketsana has lasted well into October, and tens of thousands of people are still in evacuation centers, according to the disaster coordinating council.

On October 3, Typhoon Parma made landfall in a rural region of fishermen and farmers in Luzon, the largest of the Philippine islands. It destroyed 55,000 houses and killed more than 430 people.

Last week a third typhoon, Lupit, narrowly missed making landfall but still brought lots of rain to the Philippines.