Mon, Oct 01, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Tropical storm Lekima kills nine in the Philippines

AGENCIES , MANILA

Tropical storm Lekima killed nine people and left another missing in the Philippines after unleashing landslides, floods and big waves, rescuers said yesterday.

The weather bureau lowered all cyclone alerts on the main island of Luzon as the storm dissipated into a weaker tropical depression.

A landslide buried two houses in a mountain village near the town of Hingyon late on Saturday, killing eight people, the civil defense office said.

One other family member was missing while a nine year-old boy was injured, it said in an updated report.

Meanwhile, a military rescue unit recovered the body of a drowning victim in northern Manila, it said.

The storm swept across Luzon with maximum sustained winds of 65kph on Saturday, shutting down ferry services, swelling dams and rivers, and unleashing floods that displaced some 3,400 people, the government agency said.

Huge waves also smashed onto the Sarangani coast of Mindanao, damaging 29 houses in the village of San Nicolas.

Ferry services between Luzon and the central islands resumed yesterday, but small fishing boats and other craft were warned to stay in port due to big waves.

Anthony Golez, deputy chief of the civil defense office, said thousands of people were marooned in the north of the country because of damaged roads and bridges, and flooded homes and crops.

He added that emergency teams were searching for four more people believed to be buried by a mudslide that thundered through houses on the slopes of the Cordillera mountains in Ifugao Province on Saturday.

With winds of up to 55kph, Lekima has moved onto the South China Sea and was estimated to be 670km west of Zambales in northwestern Philippines by today, and moving westwards at 19kph toward the coast of Vietnam.

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