Storm, Floods Kill 33 in Philippines as Typhoon Wipha Expected

At least 33 people were killed in the Philippines in the past week as days of heavy rains followed by a typhoon caused flooding and landslides while a new tropical storm is expected tomorrow.

At least 13 died after Typhoon Nari slammed into the provinces north of the capital yesterday, uprooting trees, causing power outages and making some roads impassable, according to the disaster monitoring agency’s report on its website. Twenty were killed in the five days to Oct. 8 in parts of Visayas and Mindanao islands due to floods and landslides, a separate report said.

Storm Wipha is forecast to enter the Philippines tomorrow morning as Nari left at 7 a.m. today, weather forecaster Fernando Cada said in a telephone interview. Wipha, with maximum winds of 140 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 170 kilometers per hour, isn’t expected to hit land and will exit within 24 hours, Cada said.

The Philippines, regularly battered by cyclones, topped a list of 10 countries most affected by natural disasters in 2012, with 2,360 deaths, according to a report by Brussels-based Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. In August, monsoon rains swamped as much as 60 percent of the Philippine capital and nearby provinces, killing 27, shutting financial markets for two days and suspending work and schools.

Monsoon rains in September killed 32 in central Luzon last month, the disaster monitoring agency said. Five are missing from heavy rains and stormy weather in the past week that affected almost half a million people and forced more than 167,000 to flee their homes, based on government reports.

Almost 3 billion pesos ($70 million) of farm output, mostly crops in rice-producing Nueva Ecija province, was damaged by Nari, according to the Office of Civil Defense. About 45,000 hectares of land planted with rice in central Luzon were ready for harvest before Nari struck, the government said.

Almost 18,000 houses and nearly 72 million pesos worth of infrastructure were damaged since Oct. 4, based on the reports. Wipha is the 20th storm to hit the Philippines in 2013 and four more are expected this year, Cada said.

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