New Storm Lashes Luzon, Death Toll From Previous Typhoon Reaches 65
MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ Heavy rains and strong winds whipped up by an approaching typhoon lashed Luzon island today, as relief officials reported that last week’s typhoon had left at least 65 people dead and more than 700,000 homeless.
With Typhoon Cary about 200 miles northeast of Manila, the weather service issued storm warnings for the metropolitan area and a wide area of Luzon. Strong gusts of winds buffeted Manila, while outlying areas were hit by rain and winds up to 60 mph.
Typhoon Cary was moving west and was expected to hit Isabela province about 8 a.m. Tuesday, chief government meteorologist Amado Pineda said.
The death toll from Typhoon Betty was expected to continue to rise, because some areas hit by the storm last week had not yet been able to report casualties due to breakdowns in communications. Betty raked nine provinces with winds of up to 135 mph.
″What we have so far are only partial reports,″ said Lourdes Massing of the Philippine Red Cross.
Figures released by the Red Cross and the government’s Office of Civil Defense showed at least 14 people missing and 371 injured.
Civil defense and Red Cross officials said Sorsogon province on Luzon’s southeastern tip and Samar island further south took the worst pounding from Typhoon Betty. They said 18 people were killed in Sorsogon and 17 on Samar.
The other deaths were in Albay, Batangas and Laguna province on Luzon and from the islands of Marinduque, Masbate and Mindoro.
Crispina Abat, operations director for the Office of Civil Defense, said preliminary estimates of damage to crops and other property, including buildings and highways, were about $32.8 million. In Sorsogon alone, the Red Cross said 57,000 houses were destroyed.
After leaving the Philippines, Betty swirled across the South China Sea and lost strength before reaching Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.
Downgraded by now to a tropical storm, Betty poured welcome rain on drought-stricken Thailand on Sunday night.
Sukit Yengusang, director of the Meteorological Department’s weather forecast division, said there were no reports of injuries or damage in Thailand from the rain.
The official Vietnam News Agency said today that Betty’s heavy rains hit the coastal provinces of Nghe Tinh and Binh Tri Tien south of Hanoi on Sunday. The report, monitored in Bangkok, did not mention casualties or damage.