Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Death toll rises to 45 in storm-hit Philippines
by Staff Writers
Calumput, Philippines (AFP) Dec 20, 2015

Death toll climbs as Philippine floods spread
Manila (AFP) Dec 19, 2015 - Heavy rains pummelled the entire Philippines on Saturday, flooding more areas as the government declared a "state of national calamity".

The death toll after a week of devastating weather has risen to 41, according to confirmed reports from national and local disaster monitoring agencies.

Poor farming communities in the main southern island of Mindanao were flooded Saturday after at least two rivers burst their banks, local disaster officials said.

The storm, locally named Onyok, had weakened into a low pressure area after hitting land late Friday but continued to bring more rains to Mindanao and the central Visayas islands.

Cold monsoon winds blowing from the northeast brought rains to Luzon, the main northern island, where large farming communities have been submerged in mostly waist-deep floods from Typhoon Melor, which hit at the start of the week.

Areas inundated by Melor have barely recovered from floods brought by Typhoon Koppu in October.

"Almost the entire Philippines is experiencing rains. More floods are possible," state weather forecaster Robert Badrina told AFP.

"We expect the rains to peak today. The weather will start to improve tomorrow," he said.

President Benigno Aquino ordered state agencies to "hasten the rescue recovery, relief and rehabilitation efforts," in a statement declaring a state of "national calamity".

The government will control prices of basic goods in affected areas, the statement read.

The weather bureau issued a warning of up to 30 millimetres of rain per hour in the central islands of Cebu, Negros and Bohol, while residents were advised to be on alert for possible evacuation.

The three Visayas islands, with a combined population of 7.4 million people, are home to major tourism, trading and agricultural hubs.

Close to 10,000 people were evacuated from the poor farming region of Caraga in Mindanao before the latest storm.

In Agusan del Sur province, large portions of the national highway were inundated after a nearby river burst its banks, regional civil defence officer Manuel Ochotorena told AFP.

Another river in Davao del Norte province, roughly 100 kilometres (62 miles) away, also burst its banks, forcing residents out of their homes, provincial disaster officer Romulo Tagalo said.

In Luzon, 140,000 people displaced by floods and landslides triggered by Melor remained in evacuation centres.

The Philippines, a nation of 100 million, is battered by an average of 20 typhoons per year, many of them deadly.

In 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan wiped out entire fishing communities in the central islands, leaving 7,350 people dead or missing.

The death toll from two storms which battered the Philippines rose to 45 Sunday as several towns remained under water and rain kept falling in northern regions, disaster monitoring officials said.

The rain was caused by a cold front, dragged into the country by Typhoon Melor and Tropical Depression Onyok which hit the Philippines in succession last week.

Floods almost three metres (nine feet) deep covered some riverside areas north of the capital Manila as heavy rain kept falling, civil defence offices said.

"Our home has been flooded up to the waist. It has been flooded for over two days," said Mary Jane Bautista, 35, in the industrial town of Calumpit 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of the capital.

Her family and several others were forced to take refuge on nearby high ground -- in front of a church where their only shelter is the awning over the entrance.

"My husband has to wade through the waters to go home to get supplies. If we need water, he has to go to the faucet in our kitchen," she told AFP, expressing fears the current could wash him away.

"We had some food but it just ran out," she said, complaining that government relief goods had not yet reached her.

Around her the streets had turned into fast-moving rivers, passable only by rowboats and people using inner tubes.

Many low-lying areas north of Manila act as a catchment area for rain in other parts of the main island of Luzon.

"It (the flood) really takes a long time to recede because this is the lowest area," said Glenn Diwa, an officer with the regional disaster council.

Over 54,000 people in the region were huddling in government evacuation centres, she said, adding there was no guarantee they would be home by Christmas, one of the biggest holidays in the largely Catholic nation.

Melor hit the southeast of Luzon on December 14 and moved west across the archipelago.

Even as it departed to the South China Sea, another storm named locally as Onyok hit the southern island of Mindanao and brought more heavy rain.

Almost a week after Melor struck, the death toll was still rising, with the bodies of four dead fishermen washed up in the eastern region of Bicol.

"They left during clear weather. But they were caught by the typhoon on the way home," said Cedric Daep, the region's civil defence chief.

The unregistered vessel did not have a radio or even life vests, he told AFP.

The government weather station said Onyok had dissipated and the weather would improve nationwide by Monday.

The nation of 100 million people is battered by an average of 20 typhoons annually, many of them deadly. In 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan wiped out entire fishing communities in the central islands, leaving 7,350 people dead or missing.

Recurring flood nightmare in typhoon-battered Philippines
Candaba, Philippines (AFP) Dec 18, 2015 - Tens of thousands of people struggled Friday through waist-deep floods in typhoon-battered farmlands near the Philippine capital, as yet another storm threatened to dump more rain.

Large parts of four farming provinces on the main northern island of Luzon have been submerged in water since Wednesday due to Typhoon Melor, which left at least 27 people dead in its wake.

Hundreds of thousands of people there had yet to recover from Typhoon Koppu, which claimed 54 lives while causing flooding that lasted for more than a week and destroyed vast swathes of rice crops just before harvest in October.

President Benigno Aquino on Friday declared a "state of national calamity" to hasten the government response, his spokesman, Herminio Coloma, told reporters.

Truck driver Roberto Mariano, who has been out of work since Koppu, again found the small bungalow he shared with 15 relatives submerged.

"The floods mean no work and no money for me," the 51-year-old told AFP, trying to keep his balance as he walked through strong flood currents in Candaba, around 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Manila.

Mariano, who used to earn 500 pesos ($10) driving, was on his way to his parents' house to borrow money to buy rice.

"It's very hard out here. I have to go out because we've run out of food in the house," he said.

Mariano said he had spent the last two nights sleepless, anxiously watching as the waters nearly submerged the children's wooden beds.

- 'We're used to this' -

Flooding was expected to spread to other parts of the country with a tropical depression, locally dubbed Onyok, on course to hit coastal villages on the main southern island of Mindanao late Friday.

In Surigao del Sur province, where Onyok was expected to make landfall first, authorities prepared for possible evacuation and readied trucks and excavators to clear landslide debris, governor Johnny Pimentel told AFP.

"We are prepared for this storm... the biggest threat here is the floods," he said.

While Onyok will hit land about 700 kilometres from the farming regions currently enduring floods, it could still bring rain to those areas, said Esperanza Cayanan, a state weather bureau forecaster.

The weather misery comes a week before Christmas, the most celebrated holiday in the predominantly Catholic nation of 100 million people.

"We should not be in holiday mode," Cayanan told reporters.

In the Candaba town centre, residents with groceries in hand rode small wooden boats and makeshift rafts made from refrigerator doors.

Others showed commitment to their daily routines, eating at roadside canteens waist-deep in flood waters.

"We're used to this, but it doesn't make it any less difficult," said Candelaria Balagtas, a 68-year-old retired policewoman.

The country is ravaged by an average of 20 major storms a year, many of them deadly.

Balagtas said she risked triggering her arthritis by wading through the frigid waters to the market to buy rice and sardines for her daughter after they ran out of food.

"I'm lucky I have my pension, but the people here, their farms were destroyed, the fishermen can't go out to fish," she told AFP.

The islands of the Philippines are often the first major landmass that storms hit after they emerge over the Pacific Ocean.

In November 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record, flattened entire communities in poor farming and fishing communities, leaving 7,350 people dead or missing.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
New storm approaches Philippines after typhoon kills 20
Manila (AFP) Dec 17, 2015
A new storm was threatening to dump heavy rain on the southern Philippines on Friday, as people in northern farming regions battled floods from deadly Typhoon Melor, authorities said. A tropical depression, locally named "Onyok", was heading for the southern island of Mindanao as Melor moved further out to the South China Sea after claiming at least 20 lives, the government weather bureau re ... read more

Nepal passes long-delayed bill on quake rebuilding

Amnesty accuses Turkey of abusing, forcibly deporting refugees

America's penchant for guns stronger than ever after attacks

Human skin detection technology for improved security, search and rescue

Scientists create atomically thin boron

Turning rice farming waste into useful silica compounds

Hybrid material presents potential for 4-D-printed adaptive devices

The artificial materials that came in from the cold

Growth potential remains at risk on even the most remote coral reefs

Tropical groundwater resources resilient to climate change

Greenhouse gas emissions from freshwater higher than thought

Tiny phytoplankton have big influence on climate change

East Antarctic Ice Sheet has stayed frozen for 14 million years

Ancient 4-flippered reptile flapped like a penguin

North Slope permafrost thawing sooner than expected

Warmer air and sea, declining ice continue to trigger Arctic change

Red palm weevils can fly 50 kilometers in 24 hours

Plants use a molecular clock to predict when they'll be infected

Composting food waste remains your best option

Millet: The missing link in transition from hunter-gatherer to farmer

Flood rescues as Philippine typhoon death toll climbs to 11

New storm approaches Philippines after typhoon kills 20

Typhoon kills 4 in Philippines, cuts power ahead of Christmas

700,000 flee as powerful typhoon slams Philippines

Jihadist fears spark travel warning at Burkina nature park

Liberia arrests suspects in deadly Ivory Coast attacks

Boxing unites Christians, Muslims in war-torn C.Africa

Lions made famous on television poisoned in Kenya

Scientists say face mites evolved alongside humans

How brain architecture leads to abstract thought

Chitchat and small talk could serve an evolutionary need to bond with others

Humans evolved to get better sleep in less time

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement