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Philippines typhoon kills 27, new storm approaches

The death toll from a typhoon that lashed the Philippines rose to 27, with over 54,000 people left homeless, the government said on Wednesday, as they warned of a new storm gathering in the South China Sea.
By HT Correspondent | AFP, Manila
UPDATED ON MAY 06, 2009 11:35 AM IST

The death toll from a typhoon that lashed the Philippines rose to 27, with over 54,000 people left homeless, the government said on Wednesday, as they warned of a new storm gathering in the South China Sea.

State weather forecasts said Typhoon Kujira has now blown out of the Philippines after dumping heavy rains and causing floods and landslides in the eastern Bicol region at the weekend.

Twenty-one of the casualties were recorded in the town of Magallanes in Sorsogon province, where a landslide buried a coastal village, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said.

Six others were either drowned or electrocuted by fallen power lines, it said. Eight other people are still missing.

Over 54,000 people remained homeless in 175 evacuation centers in Bicol, it said.

As emergency relief workers and local governments rushed aid to the affected areas the government warned the public to brace for another storm that is expected to make landfall on Thursday.

Storm Chan-Hom, packing winds of 110 kilometers (68 miles) per hour, was hovering over the South China Sea around 700 kilometers west of Luzon Wednesday.

"This weather disturbance is expected to enter over the western boundary" of the country by Thursday morning, the state weather bureau said in an advisory.

While still far away, the agency said thunderstorms and rain showers will already be felt in parts of Luzon, and could cause flash floods.

"It will grow stronger as it approaches the country," said chief weather forecaster Nathaniel Cruz, adding that the northern and central parts of Luzon could bear the brunt of the storm.

The capital Manila, he said, will also experience heavy rains.

About 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year, some causing massive death and destruction.

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