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Typhoon Koppu hits hard

One person died on Sunday after being hit by a fallen tree, six are missing and many thousands have been displaced from their villagers as typhoon Koppu comes ashore with fierce winds in the north-eastern Philippines.

Emergency workers were sent to rescue people trapped in flooded villages in the hard-hit province of Aurora, where the typhoon blew ashore early Sunday.

The typhoon has weakened and slowed considerably, hemmed in by the Sierra Madre mountain range and a high pressure area in the country’s north and another typhoon far out in the Pacific.
Strong winds knocked down trees and electric posts, leaving nine entire provinces without power while floods and small landslides made 25 roads and bridges impassable. By Sunday afternoon, the typhoon had veered toward the north from its westward course and was tracked over mountainous Nueva Vizcaya province with sustained winds of 150km/hour and gusts of up to 185km/hour, according to the government’s weather agency.

A man was electrocuted in northern Tarlac province and two bodies were seen being swept by floodwaters in Nueva Ecija, but authorities were trying to determine whether those were typhoon-related deaths.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Bill Tweddel, has offered Australian resources to manage the disaster.

“Australia is a close friend to the Philippines and we extend our sympathy to those affected by this natural disaster. While the full scale of the disaster is still uncertain, we will continue to cooperate closely with the Philippine Government and our network of humanitarian partners to obtain information on emergency operations and needs.” Koppu, Japanese for “cup,” is the 12th storm to hit the Philippines this year. An average of 20 storms and typhoon each year batter the archipelago, one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.

Image courtesy of By Cdip150, via Wikimedia Commons

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