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Senin, 02 November 2020

Typhoon Goni death toll rises as search continues for survivors in flooded Philippines towns - ABC News

There are fears the death toll from Typhoon Goni will continue to climb, as rescuers in the Philippines battle to find those missing after the strongest storm in the world so far this year struck the country.

The Philippines' disaster agency said the death toll from the storm had climbed to 16 on Monday afternoon.

Goni's powerful winds and heavy rains caused flooding and left 10 dead in Albay province and another six in Catanduanes, the agency said.

The storm had gusts of up to 310 kilometres per hour and was classed as a super typhoon when it brought "catastrophic" winds to the country on Sunday.

But it weakened considerably after making landfall and shifted direction to spare the capital, Manila, before blowing out into the South China Sea.

Catanduanes Governor Joseph Cua and other officials said about 13,000 shanty homes and houses were damaged or swept away when the typhoon slammed into the province.

Many residents fled to safety from their homes as the typhoon approached.

Mr Cua described the onslaught as "severe" and reported that some coastal areas were swamped by frightening storm surges.

Muddy floodwaters pass by Cagsawa ruins.
Floodwater covers towns in Albay province, central Philippines.(AP: Alejandro Miraflor)

About 10,000 shanties were "totally washed out along the coastlines that were hit by the typhoon," Catanduanes representative Hector Sanchez said.

Catanduanes, a province of 275,000 people, had some power restored on Monday after being cut off by the storm.

The typhoon also devastated the nearby province of Albay, where heavy rains washed down boulders and mudflows from Mayon Volcano, engulfing about 150 houses in a single community in the town of Guinobatan.

The storm affected 2.1 million residents in Luzon, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy, and over 50,000 homes were without power on Monday.

Rhoda Avila from Oxfam Philippines told the ABC there were fears the death toll could continue to rise as the damage made access to the worst-hit areas difficult.

"Most of the villages are still flooded, and also buried with mudflows. Most of the areas also are without electricity, and in some areas, communication is still very much difficult," she said.

Small makeshift tents set up in an evacuation centre.
Modular tents have been set up in evacuation centres in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.(AP: Aaron Favila)

The Philippines has had more than 383,000 cases of coronavirus, the second-most in South-East Asia behind Indonesia.

The Philippines Department of Health reported 2,396 new confirmed cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of active cases to 27,115.

About 80 per cent of the country's 2,000 ventilators are in use.

Another typhoon gaining strength as country reels

The Philippines is still reeling from Typhoon Molave, which killed 22 people, mostly through drowning in provinces south of the capital Manila.

"The impact has been devastating for really hundreds of thousands of people who have been forced to vacate their homes or seek shelter in other places," Philippines Red Cross chief Robert Kaufmann told the ABC.

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Play Video. Duration: 40 seconds
Typhoon Goni batters the Philippines. (Image: Reuters)

Another storm, Atsani, is gaining strength in the Pacific Ocean as it approaches the Philippines, which is usually hit by around 20 tropical storms annually.

"We hope this incoming typhoon will not compound the serious situation already," Oxfam's Ms Avila said.

Meanwhile, Vietnam's Government said Goni was forecast to make landfall on the country's central coast on Wednesday night, dumping more heavy rain in an area where floods and landslides have already killed around 160 people and left dozens of others missing over the past month.

President Rodrigo Duterte to conduct aerial inspection

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Play Video. Duration: 33 seconds
Typhoon Goni barrels into Luzon.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to inspect the disaster zones as authorities claimed mandatory evacuations had prevented a higher death toll.

About 347,000 people were in evacuation centres, disaster management chief Ricardo Jalad said on Sunday, lowering the figure of nearly a million reported by the agency a day earlier.

"The goal should be zero casualties but since people were forcibly evacuated our casualties were reduced," presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.

Mr Duterte was due to fly to Manila from his home town of Davao and conduct an aerial inspection of some of the worst-hit areas, Mr Roque said.

The President had been in his home town when the typhoon struck, prompting some public criticism.

ABC/wires

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2020-11-02 07:41:00Z
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