Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Typhoon kills 4 in Philippines, cuts power ahead of Christmas
By Charism SAYAT
Bulan, Philippines (AFP) Dec 15, 2015

Tattered lanterns, festive lights and tin roofs littered towns in the central Philippines on Tuesday after Typhoon Melor swept through, killing at least four people and leaving millions without power ahead of Christmas.

Distraught survivors surveyed their damaged homes on the eve of the traditional nine-day Christmas vigil that Filipinos observe with dawn masses and rice cakes.

Christmas is the most celebrated holiday in the Philippines, 80 percent of its 100 million people are Catholic, and decorations such as colourful lights and lanterns had already been put up in most towns.

"It will be a very sad Christmas and a dark one because we have no power. But the important thing is everyone around me is still moving," 54-year-old rice farmer Noemi Pesigan told AFP.

Melor blew out the windows of Pesigan's two-storey brick and wood house in Bulan, a small farming town about 350 kilometres southeast of the capital, Manila, and she survived the storm by sheltering in a nearby shop.

The typhoon tore in off the Pacific Ocean on Monday afternoon and hit farming and fishing communities in the eastern Philippines with winds of up to 185 kilometres (115 miles) an hour.

Three people were killed in floods in Northern Samar province, which faces the Pacific, municipal disaster officer Jonathan Baldo told DZMM radio.

Flying debris also killed a man in Northern Samar, national disaster agency spokeswoman Mina Marasigan told AFP, without being able to confirm the other three fatalities.

Civil defence officials said they were checking reports of additional deaths in isolated areas but were struggling to confirm new casualties due to "communication issues" caused by the storm.

The road out of Bulan was littered with fallen trees and toppled power lines, making travel difficult, while nearby wooden and thatched houses lay in ruin.

Melor weakened slightly as it cut across the central islands of the archipelago, but its wind gusts were still reaching 170 kilometres an hour as it passed over the island of Mindoro Tuesday afternoon.

By evening the typhoon had begun to move out into the South China Sea and based on current forecasts was unlikely to directly hit any further land masses, although a level three storm warning -- the second highest signal -- remained in place for northern Mindoro island.

- Dark Christmas -

In Bicol, a vast region in the east often hit by typhoons, authorities credited the early evacuation of 720,000 people for what they believed would be a low death toll.

"We have zero floods, zero deaths, zero casualties," Joey Salceda, governor of Albay province in Bicol, told ABS-CBN television.

But he said the entire province of 1.2 million people was without power.

"What we are asking for is the early restoration of electricity," he said.

Residents of neighbouring Sorsogon, which takes in Bulan town, were also without power on Tuesday, and authorities could give no guarantees if electricity would be restored by Christmas.

"Our target is to restore power by Christmas, but it will still depend on many factors," Mina Marasigan, spokeswoman of the national disaster management agency, told AFP.

She said the timing would depend on how badly damaged towns were, and how much cleaning up of roads was required before teams could go in to put up new power poles and lines.

The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 typhoons a year, many of them deadly, with the strongest often happening towards the end of the year.

Last year, 53 people died in floods and landslides after Typhoon Jangmi hit another part of the eastern Philippines five days after Christmas.

The last deadly storm to hit the country this year, Koppu, killed 54 people and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes after it pummelled rice-growing northern provinces in October.

In November 2013, one of the strongest typhoons on record, Haiyan, flattened entire communities in the central region with tsunami-like waves, 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
Strong tropical storm threatens Philippines
Manila (AFP) Dec 13, 2015
A strong tropical storm barreled toward the Philippines Sunday, threatening the disaster-prone nation's east coast with giant waves, flooding and landslides, civil defence officials warned. Forecasters said Tropical Storm Melor could strengthen into a full-fledged typhoon by Monday afternoon when it is expected to strike the central island of Samar. "We should not underestimate the dang ... read more

Five US states spared from mass shooting bloodbaths in 2015

Human skin detection technology for improved security, search and rescue

Nepal quake victims face deadly winter as parties bicker

Red Cross meet fails to agree on global plan to track rules of war

A new theory describes ice's slippery behavior

PC steel wires on concrete and steel bridges now visible with terahertz waves

The artificial materials that came in from the cold

Physics of wrapping miniature droplets takes cue from street foods

New theory of Okinawan coral migration and diversity proposed

Global ocean microbiome key to understanding environmental changes

Going Dutch to help conquer the rising seas

As Florida Keys flood, property worries seep in

NCAR develops method to predict sea ice changes years in advance

Greenland glaciers retreating at record pace

Ice matters on Planet Earth

Blankets cover Swiss glacier in vain effort to halt icemelt

Plant growth enhanced by increased CO2 with significant variations

Scientists create first map of the wheat epigenome

Emissions set to soar as love of steak takes off in Asia

Feeding food waste to pigs could save vast swathes of threatened forest and savannah

700,000 flee as powerful typhoon slams Philippines

The Netherlands: the safest delta in the world

Strong tropical storm threatens Philippines

Iceland volcano's eruption shows how sulfur particles influence clouds

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

Lions made famous on television poisoned in Kenya

China, Africa call for homegrown solutions to solving African crises

Elephants: the forgotten giants at Africa-China summit

Research differentiates facial growth in Neanderthals and modern humans

Engraved schist slab may depict paleolithic campsites

East Asia Pacific ageing faster than anywhere else in history: World Bank

The accidental discovery of how to stay young for longer

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