Typhoon Saola wallops Philippines and Taiwan, killing 32
Torrential rain and strong winds from Typhoon Saola killed 29 people in the northern and central Philippines, rescue officials said Thursday, as the storm made landfall in Taiwan, hammering the island with torrents of floodwater and killing three.
Copyright Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 2012
The storm made landfall in Taiwan at 3:20 am Thursday (0720 pm GMT Wednesday) near the city of Hualien on the east coast, bearing sustained winds of 118 kilometres per hour and gusts of 155 kph. It did not make landfall in the Philippines but has affected the country since Saturday, where it injured 21 people and displaced 179,990. More than 2,700 homes were damaged or destroyed there, forcing 12,000 people into evacuation centres and the remainder of those displaced had to stay with friends or relatives, the Office of Civil Defence said. The Philippine victims mostly died from drowning in floodwaters, which were slowly receding Thursday, or in maritime accidents while some were buried in landslides, hit by falling trees or electrocuted.
The latest casualties in the Philippines included two men struck by falling trees in the central province of Bohol and a grade-three student who drowned in floods in the northern province of Ilocos Sur, said the head of the agency, Benito Ramos. Three teenage girls also drowned while playing in floodwaters in the Manila suburb of Malabon Thursday, city officials said. In Taiwan, one person drowned in floods, another was killed by a mudslide and a third was stuck by a falling tree, the Apple Daily newspaper reported. Thirteen people were injured by the storm, which brought heavy rain, high winds and extensive flooding. Authorities ordered all businesses and schools closed Thursday, and financial markets were not opened. Most streets in Taipei were deserted after authorities advised residents to stay indoors.