Typhoon Mirinae barrels through Philippines, worsens flooding

13:05, October 31, 2009      

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Typhoon Mirinae, the fourth in a month to hit the Philippines, barreled through the main island of Luzon in just a few hours early Saturday morning, the country's weather forecast bureau said. There is not yet report of casualties.

The storm made landfall at the eastern Quezon province before 1a.m. local time Saturday morning (1700 GMT Friday) and by 5 p.m. the eye of the storm was tracked 60 kilometers south of Metro Manila and is moving further west at 24 kilometers per hour (kph), the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said.

"The worst is over," Nathaniel Cruz, the chief weather forecaster said in a radio interview. "We can expect improving weather as typhoon continues to move farther away from the country."

But rains dumped by Mirinae have worsened the flooding in parts of the capital region caused by previous storms. The government disasters relief agency reported that at least 15 villages and districts in Metro Manila are submerged -- some in waist-deep floodwaters.

About 115,000 people living in low-lying areas were evacuated to government-run shelters before the storm came, the National Disasters Coordinating Council said, and the grounding of ferries stranded more than 8,000 passengers.

Averagely 20 typhoons and tropical storms hit the Philippines in a year. The country is still reeling from the massive flooding caused by two back-to-back storms earlier this month. More than 900 people were killed and 100,000 remain homeless and stay in government-run temporary shelters.

Source: Xinhua
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