Typhoon kills 41 in Philippines, 100 missing
The typhoon Durian is the fourth powerful typhoon to batter the Philippines since late September.Updated: Dec 01, 2006 10:37 IST
At least 41 people were killed and over 100 missing in landslides, floods and other accidents caused by typhoon Durian in the Philippines, officials said on Friday.
Mudflows and boulders tumbled into eight villages at the foot of Mayon Volcano in Albay province, 330 km southeast of Manila, causing the loss of lives.
Albay provincial Governor Fernando Gonzales said the death toll was still expected to rise because many people were still trapped under the debris.
"The situation is really bad," he said in a radio interview. "The death toll we reported is just in two villages, and there are definitely casualties in the other areas affected."
Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal said that based on initial reports he received, more than 100 people were missing in the affected villages.
"Only the roofs of houses can be seen in these villages," he said. "The highway is closed now because of debris from the mudflows and boulders."
Gonzales said heavy rains brought by Durian loosened mud and volcanic debris that had hardened on the slopes of Mayon, causing the deadly landslides. Search and rescue teams have been dispatched to the area, but were battling difficult conditions, he added.
"Communication is down and many roads are closed due to landslides," he said.
Durian slammed into the eastern provinces with maximum sustained winds of 190 km an hour and gusts of up to 225 km an hour.
But the weather bureau said the typhoon has weakened as it crossed to the country's western coast, with maximum winds down to 150 km an hour and gusts of 185 km an hour. It was moving west at 19 km an hour towards the South China Sea.
Durian is the fourth powerful typhoon to batter the Philippines since late September. Over 250 people were killed in the three previous typhoons.
First Published: Dec 01, 2006 10:19 IST