Sun, Feb 02, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Storm batters areas still reeling from Haiyan, quake


One man died and more than 18,000 people fled their homes in the Philippines’ Visayas and Mindanao regions as Tropical Storm Kajiki battered areas that have yet to recover from Typhoon Haiyan and a magnitude 7.2 earthquake.

A man died of drowning in the town of Macrohon in southern Leyte, Senior Superintendent Armando Bolalin, the province’s police chief, said in a text message.

More than half of those displaced are from Leyte and Tacloban, which accounted for 5,308 of the 6,200 killed when Haiyan hit on Nov. 8 last year, according to the Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s 8am report. About 4,200 are from Cebu, which was shaken by the Oct. 15 quake.

The rest of the evacuees are from Dinagat Islands and Surigao del Norte province, which were hit last month by tropical depression Agaton, which triggered floods and landslides that killed at least 70, the council reported.

Kajiki, named Basyang locally, has winds of up to 65kph and maximum gusts of 80km. It has stranded 9,500 people in ports and triggered a power outage in Dinagat Islands.

A 2m storm surge hit the towns of San Jose and Cagdianao in Dinagat Islands, Jane Mayola, information officer of the provincial government, said in a text message, adding that there was no major impact reported.

The Philippines is still rebuilding after Haiyan and the government estimates the cost of reconstruction at 361 billion pesos (US$8 billion).

The Asian Development Bank estimates losses from natural disasters in the country amount to US$1.6 billion a year, the most in Southeast Asia.

Haiyan, the world’s strongest typhoon to make landfall, displaced 4 million people and damaged 1.14 million homes. Almost three months later, operations at Tacloban airport remain limited and power has yet to be fully restored in the city, which suffered the most from the typhoon, according to a risk agency report on Wednesday.

The Philippines, battered by cyclones that form over the Pacific Ocean, is the second most-at-risk nation globally from tropical storms, after Japan, UK-based research company Maplecroft said.

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