Death Toll Rises To 44 From Typhoon Betty; New Storm Threatens
MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ The Philippines’ death toll from Typhoon Betty rose to 44 Saturday and authorities said more than 200,000 people lost their homes in the storm’s two- day onslaught.
Meterologists meanwhile predicted that a new typhoon now stirring in the Pacific would strike several northern provinces here.
Betty struck on Wednesday and Thursday, the strongest typhoon to hit this country in three years.
The Office of Civil Defense said that in addition to the homeless, about 400,000 Filipinos were in need of assistance after Typhoon Betty’s winds, blowing up to 137 mph, severely damaged their homes or wiped out their crops.
The weather bureau issued new typhoon warnings for five northern provinces Saturday after another storm, named Cary, intensified into a typhoon. Cary has peak winds of 75 mph, the bureau said.
Chief government meteorologist Amado Pineda said that as of Saturday afternoon, the new typhoon was centered about 400 miles northeast of Manila and was slowly moving northwest toward Luzon island.
He said he expected Cary’s fringe winds to begin lashing northern Luzon by Sunday night.
Priscilla Duque, a civil defense spokeswoman, said damage reports received Saturday showed Sorsogon province, 250 miles southeast of Manila on Luzon’s southeastern tip, suffered the most damage of 14 provinces affected by Betty.
She said 16 people died there and more than 21,000 houses were destroyed. Communication links with the province were not restored until Saturday.
Another delayed report said nine people were killed Wednesday on Samar island, about 270 miles southeast of Manila.
Mrs. Duque said initial estimate on the total damage to crops and property was $31.8 million, with Sorsogon accounting for 95 percent of it.
Lourdes Massing, Philippine Red Cross director for disaster preparedness, said the other dead were from the Luzon provinces of Batangas, Laguna and Albay and from the island provinces of Marinduque, Masbate and Oriental Mindoro.
Government-run television said President Corazon Aquino proclaimed a state of emergency in the provinces affected by the typhoon.