Philippines mops up after two typhoons in a week

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 02, 2011 2:08 AM
Philippines mops up after two typhoons in a week

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine authorities were struggling on Sunday to reach communities in northern provinces of Luzon island that were hit by two powerful typhoons in less than week, as concern grew about a third storm forming off the coast.

The national disaster agency said one person had been killed when Typhoon Nalgae struck on Saturday, although there were reports of more deaths from provincial officials.

The country had yet to recover from Typhoon Nesat, which hit on Tuesday, killing at least 52 people, when Nalgae struck. Thirty people are still missing after Nesat and a number of towns and villages are flooded, the disaster agency said.

Parts of two provinces north of the capital, Pampanga and Bulacan, have been submerged in chest-deep water since Friday, with many residents sheltering on their roofs, and Nalgas's rain meant the towns were likely to remain flooded.

The successive typhoons had left parts of many provinces isolated because roads were impassable and power was down, and the risk of a third typhoon hitting later this week meant it was urgent to get relief supplies in.

"It's the first time we've been hit by two consecutive typhoons, strong ones," said Teddy Baguilat, a representative of the hard-hit Ifugao region, told ANC television, saying people in his region needed fuel and food.

"We're hanging in there, we just need a helping hand now from our national government."

Typhoon Nalgae hit rice-producing Isabela province and battered the Cordillera mountain region, losing power before it cleared the west coast and headed toward Vietnam.

Officials were monitoring another storm that was forming off the east coast and could hit northern Luzon later this week.

The damage bill from Typhoon Nesat stood at 6.7 billion pesos ($155 million), the disaster agency said. More than 180,000 people fled to shelters in dozens of towns north of Manila. There was no initial damage estimate for Nalgae.

(Reporting by John Mair and Manuel Mogato; Editing by Robert Birsel)