Friday, June 24, 2011

Tropical storm in Philippines kills 11, forces 40,000 out of homes

Heavy rains and high winds from Tropical Storm Meari lashed the Philippines Friday, killing at least 11 people and displacing 40,000 people, an emergency management agency said.

The storm has been menacing the Philippines since Tuesday, when 11 fishermen went missing along the coast of Luzon, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The storm was forecasted to move Saturday toward Basco, Batanes, the smallest of the Philippine provinces, the council said. By Sunday, the storm was expected to be 370 kilometers (229.9 miles) west northwest of Okinawa, Japan, the agency said.

Flash floods were reported in a number of Philippine communities, including Ligao City where one woman was reportedly washed away by floodwaters, the council said in a statement posted on its website.

A landslide struck in a rural area of Olongapo City, forcing the evacuation of three families, the council said.

Thirty international flights as well as 26 domestic flights were canceled because of the storm, the Civil Aviation Authority said.

About 32,000 families in 17 cities were displaced by the storm, the emergency management agency said. Another 10,143 families have been evacuated from their homes in advance of anticipated flooding, the agency said. (Source)