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Philippine officials order mass evacuation in eastern province ahead of new typhoon

Philippine officials order mass evacuation in eastern province ahead of new typhoon

Thousands of people in an eastern province devastated by a powerful typhoon last week were told to evacuate Saturday after another storm slammed into the central Philippines.
Typhoon Utor, packing sustained winds of 120 kilometers (75 miles) per hour, made landfall in Guiuan town in the Eastern Samar province at noon Saturday. It is expected to cross the central Visayas region toward the South China Sea, said chief weather forecaster Nathaniel Cruz.
The new typhoon's path is just south of the eastern Bicol region where more than 1,000 people were killed or missing when it was battered by super Typhoon Durian last week.
Fernando Gonzales, governor of the worst-hit province of Albay, said about 15,000 people from about a dozen villages, including many that were wiped out by volcanic mudslides triggered by a record rainfall, were ordered evacuated to temporary shelters in government buildings, schools and churches where they will stay until the storm passes.
"What we are trying to avoid here is people getting trapped," he said.
Gonzales said jittery residents were more cooperative now with local government officials who have ordered the evacuation and many have moved out on their own.
The National Disaster Coordinating Council in Manila said more than 100,000 people already are evacuation centers following last week's typhoon.
Durian unleashed tons of rocks and other volcanic debris from the slopes of Mayon volcano, Bicol's most famous landmark, sending walls of mud and boulders on helpless villages.
Many residents whose houses have been destroyed or covered in debris have returned to salvage personal belongings, sometimes staying in the community and sleeping under makeshift tents or huts.
The latest typhoon prompted the postponement of next week's Southeast Asian and East Asian summits in central Cebu city and nearby Mactan island, Philippine organizers said.
In Cebu, Thai Foreign Minister Nitya Pibulsongkram said his government donated 1,000 sacks of rice for the typhoon victims.
Meanwhile, national police spokesman Chief Superintendent Samuel Pagdilao said police officers sent from Manila to help provide security for the summits will be gradually returned to the Philippine capital but those from other parts of the region will remain in Cebu in case they are needed for any disaster relief operations following the latest typhoon.


Updated : 2021-10-27 21:53 GMT+08:00