Tens of thousands of villagers fled the likely path of a powerful typhoon bearing down on Friday on the Philippines, as the government braced for the possibility of a second disaster just days after a storm killed more than 400.
Heavy rain drenched mountainous coastal regions in the northeast as Typhoon Parma tracked ominously toward heavily populated areas still saturated from the worst flooding in 40 years. Parma was forecast to hit the east coast on Saturday, packing sustained winds of up to 195 km/hour and gusts up to 230 km/hour. Officials fear it may develop into a “super-typhoon”.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared a “state of calamity” and ordered six provincial governments to evacuate residents from flood and landslide-prone areas. The “state of calamity” extends the one applied to Manila and 25 provinces hit by the earlier storm. The declaration frees up funds to respond to emergencies.
UN says 1,100 killed in Indonesia quake
An estimated 1,100 people have been killed in the massive earthquake that struck Indonesia’s West Sumatra province with the toll expected to rise, the UN said.
The 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck on Wednesday, hours after a more powerful one and a resulting tsunami ravaged some islands in the South Pacific.