Philippines Battles Tropical Storm Kai-Tak

Representational Image - Sakshi Post

Authorities in the Philippines dealing with tropical storm Kai-Tak on Sunday raised the toll to 23, while 26 people were missing due to floods and landslides caused by the adverse weather affecting around 222,000 people in central areas of the island country.

The death toll includes 14 victims in Caibiran, four in Almeria, four in Naval -- where 23 people have gone missing -- and one in Biliran, which also registered three people missing, Efe news agency reported, quoting the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of Biliran.

Biliran Governor, Gerry Boy Espina, will ask the authorities on Monday to declare a state of calamity in this eastern province which has a population of 172,000, local broadcaster GMA reported.

Of the total 221,953 people affected, 87,719 have taken shelter in evacuation centres, while 198 are being assisted elsewhere, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

The storm, known locally as Urduja, has become a depression with sustained winds of 55 km per hour and gusts of up to 90 kph, moving in a south-southeast direction at 15 kph, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

Despite the storm weakening, heavy rains caused by the weather system have become a danger for the population in the form of floods and landslides, with alerts being issued for Quezon, Batangas, Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and northern parts of the island of Palawan, the westernmost island of Philippines.

At least two bridges and 19 highway stretches have become unusable and 15,534 passengers are stranded in different ports due to ferry and boat cancellations.

Kai-Tak has also grounded 57 domestic flights since December 13, with at least 21 being cancelled on Sunday.

PAGASA has said that the depression will hit Palawan on Monday and move off to South China Sea on Tuesday.

Some 15-20 typhoons hit the Philippine archipelago every year during the rain season which normally starts in June and continues until November.

IANS

Advertisement
Back to Top