Philippine storm leaves thousands homeless, stranded

from Deutsche Presse Agentur
Published on 12 May 2006
Manila_(dpa) _ Thousands of people were left homeless and stranded in the eastern Philippines on Friday as a tropical storm triggered landslides and other accidents, but caused no casualties so far, officials said.
Some 1,500 people lost their homes when up to 100 houses were destroyed by strong waves in six coastal villages in Legazpi City, Albay province, 360 kilometres southeast of Manila.

Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal said the displaced residents have fled to evacuation centres. He added that the entire city remained without electricity since late Thursday due to strong winds and heavy rains brought about by tropical storm Chanchu.

In the nearby province of Leyte, a landslide destroyed a road and isolated about 1,000 people in nine villages in Sogod town but there were no reported casualties.

Leyte Governor Rosette Lerias said Sogod was only a few kilometres from the ill-fated village of Guinsaugun, where more than 1,000 people were killed in a massive landslide in February.

She urged residents to evacuate to prevent a similar tragedy.

Chanchu, with maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometres per hour and gusts of up to 120 kilometres per hour, was located early Friday in the vicinity of Burias island in nearby Masbate province.

Aside from Albay and Leyte, the provinces of Sorsogon, Samar, Cebu and Masbate, Mindoro, Romblon, Camarines Sur and Quezon were also experiencing bad weather.

Several flights have been cancelled by the Air Transportation Office due to the storm, while more than 4,000 remained stranded in various ports in the affected areas after the coast guard banned sea travel.

The weather bureau said Chanchu was also expected to hit Manila and the northern provinces in the next three days. It warned people to be on alert against flashfloods and landslides. dpa jg gl jh

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