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Hundreds displaced, thousands stranded by tropical storm Soudelor

Tropical storm Soudelor tracked the Pacific coast of the northern Philippines on Monday, displacing about 200 people and leaving thousands stranded at key ports, rescuers said.

india Updated: Jun 16, 2003 11:00 IST

Tropical storm Soudelor tracked the Pacific coast of the northern Philippines on Monday, displacing about 200 people and leaving thousands stranded at key ports, rescuers said.

Packing center winds of 105 kilometres (65 miles) an hour and gusts of a hurricane-strength 135 kilometers per hour (84 miles per hour), Soudelor scoured the northeastern coast of Luzon island as it followed a northwesterly course, the weather bureau said.

Huge waves kicked up by the storm slammed into a coastal village in the central island of Biliran on Sunday, damaging or destroying 25 houses and displacing 175 people but causing no casualties, the civil defense office said.

Twenty-five other people fled their homes in Biliran as the swollen Binak river threatened their homes, it said.

Meanwhile, 4,327 motorists and 257 vehicles were stranded in three ferry crossings points on the southeastern tip of Luzon, unable to put to sea toward the central islands due to rough weather, the civil defense office said.

The weather bureau said raised the third of a four-stage storm alert over the northern provinces of Cagayan and Isabela, and the second alert over the rest of the northern Philippines.

"These areas will experience stormy weather today. Coastal waters will be rough to very rough and dangerous to all types of seacraft," it said in a weather bulletin.

It forecast that Soudelor would veer northeast when it reached the northern tip of Luzon early Tuesday, and be within 120 kilometers (74 miles) southeast of Okinawa, Japan on Thursday morning.

First Published: Jun 16, 2003 11:00 IST