Typhoon Kills At Least 62 In Philippines
MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ Typhoon Peggy headed toward southern China today after cutting a swath of destruction across the Philippines’ most populous island of Luzon, leaving at least 62 people dead and seven missing, government reports said.
Hardest hit were Benguet and Mountain provinces, 125 miles north of Manila, where at least 29 people died, officials said. Roads leading to the two provinces were blocked by debris and power was cut off today, said Dolores Manio, spokeswoman for the Philippine Office of Civil Defense.
Many of the dead were buried alive by landslides as they slept in their houses, Mrs. Manio said. Two were electrocuted, and others were crushed under their tumbled homes, she said.
More than 15 inches of rain fell Wednesday and 25 inches today in the resort city of Baguio, said Nathaniel Cruz of the Philippine Weather Service.
Authorities moved more than 200,000 residents throughout northern Luzon island into schools, churches and houses on high ground, said the Philippine National Red Cross.
The typhoon pummelled Luzon with peak winds of up to 109 mph, blew down scores of wooden houses, felled trees, knocked out power and communications , and caused heavy damage to crops.
The typhoon caused millions of dollars in damages, but no estimates were available, officials said.
Some areas in and around Manila remained submerged in waist-deep water today, and officials declared a day off for schools, government and private offices.
About 3,500 people in the Manila area sought shelter at the Santo Domingo Roman Catholic Church.
A man who evacuated to the church, Ramon Dilao, lost one of his seven children after a neighbor’s house, toppled by floods, smashed against his.
″I jumped out with two of my children,″ Dilao said in an interview on government television. ″While we were in the water, we felt an electric shock (from a fallen live wire). I lost hold of my two children. I grabbed one of them back and threw him onto the roof of a house. He held on. I swam under water and looked for the other child but I never saw him again.″
Chief government weather forecaster Amado Pineda said the typhoon was moving over the South China Sea toward southern China.