'Bebeng' kills 11 - The NocturnalSaint

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Monday, May 09, 2011

'Bebeng' kills 11

MANILA, Philippines –Disaster officials warned villagers in the Philippines' agricultural north to be on guard for landslides and flash floods Monday as Tropical Storm Aere carved a deadly path across the country.
Aere has left 11 people dead since it slammed into eastern Catanduanes province early Sunday with winds of 53 miles (85 kilometers) per hour and gusts of 62 mph (100 kph). It triggered landslides and knocked out power in some areas, while also roughing up Manila Bay and rattling nerves overnight in the congested capital.
By Monday it was roaring toward provinces on northern Luzon Island, gradually losing strength.
Officials warned villagers to stay away from mountainous areas prone to landslides and low-lying communities that could be swamped by flash floods. Fishermen and ferries in the storm's path were advised to stay ashore.
"We're advising residents in high-risk areas to pre-emptively evacuate before the storm hits," said Chito Castro, spokesman for the government's disaster-response agency.
The 11 dead included three people who perished Sunday in a house that was buried by a landslide in Camarines Sur province's Balatan township. Six people have drowned in the provinces of Albay, Catanduanes, Leyte, Northern Samar and Camarines Sur. Elsewhere, a man was electrocuted in a flooded community and another died in a truck accident amid stormy weather.
An Albay fisherman who sailed out Sunday has been listed as missing.
Aere has caused more than 50 domestic and international flights to be canceled or diverted. President Benigno Aquino III delayed his flight home from a regional summit in Indonesia by a day, to Monday, due to the weather.
Aere, the second storm to batter the Philippines this year, is expected to blow away from the country on Thursday and possibly move toward Taiwan. Officials there issued a sea warning and cautioned residents on the eastern and southern parts of the island to watch out for torrential rain later Monday.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) disclosed today that the areas under Signal No. 2 are the following:
  •  Aurora
  • Isabela
  • Quirino
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Ifugao
  • Mt. Province
  • Kalinga
  • Cagayan
 Under Storm Signal No. 1 are the following:
  •  Camarines Norte
  • Northern Quezon
  • Polillo Island
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Benguet
  • Ilocos Sur
  • Abra
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Apayao
  • Babuyan
  • Calayan group of Islands
  • Batanes
Status of roads and bridges in typhoon-hit areas (Click Here)

The storm slammed into Catanduanes province with winds of 85 kilometers per hour and gusts of 100 kph. It triggered landslides and floods, disrupted transportation and knocked out power in some towns.
More than 4,700 commuters were stranded in several seaports after ferries suspended trips and roads were closed due to floods and the danger of landslides, officials said. Several domestic flights were canceled.
A landslide buried a house in the town of Balatan in Camarines Sur, killing three people, including a baby, regional disaster-response director Bernardo Alejandro said.
An elderly woman drowned trying to cross a swollen river in Daraga town in Albay province, and a man was electrocuted in a flooded village in Libon town. Three men drowned in Catanduanes and Leyte provinces, and a driver died in a truck crash during stormy weather in Camarines Sur, officials said.
Authorities helped evacuate villagers Saturday in farming communities at the base of Mayon volcano in Albay, where heavy rain threatened to turn into mudslides. Many more fled their homes Sunday as floodwaters began to rise, disaster-response officer Jukes Nunez said.
Tons of ashes have been deposited on Mayon's slope from past eruptions, and mudslides caused by a typhoon in 2006 buried entire villages, leaving about 1,600 people dead and missing, Alejandro said.
Flooding also occurred in some places in Eastern Visayas.
Officials shut off power in at least four flooded Albay towns to avoid accidents.
Meantime, electric power in parts of Metro Manila and adjacent provinces were cut due to strong winds and heavy rains brought by the storm.
According to power distributor Manila Electric Company (Meralco), electricity were cut in parts of Makati, Manila, Marikina, Paranaque, Taguig, Quezon City, Caloocan and Cavite.
However, Meralco promised to restore electricity in these areas within the day.
"I-try po naming matapos within the day," Meralco spokesperson Dinah Lomotan said in a radio interview as their personnel are now patrolling the lines to fix the problem little by little.
She said it would take some time to trace the problem in the electric cables.
"Depende sa trouble kasi minsan hindi kaagad namin nakikita," Lomotan said.
The second storm to batter the country this year is expected to blow northwestward and exit from the country later this week, government weather forecaster Juanito Galang said.
Lightning struck a Philippine Airlines plane at Manila's international airport during a thunderstorm late Saturday.
The Airbus 320 was not damaged, and the crew and passengers were not harmed, airline spokeswoman Cielo Villaluna said. The airline flew them on another flight to Bangkok as a precaution. (With Dennis Carcamo/AP)
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