Tropical storm kills at least 39 people in Philippines

Death toll from Storm Koppu affects Philippines main island on weekend reaches at least 39 death

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A boy searches for reusable plastic bottles while being pelted by waves brought by typhoon Koppu in Manila Bay.

The tropical storm Koppu, which hit the northeastern Philippines on Sunday, has left at least 39 people dead and forced more than 100,000 villagers into emergency shelters.

According to the Philippine goverment’s weather office, the storm moved up from the main island of Luzon where 17 died to Balintang Channel in the northern part of country on Wednesday.

Civilian defence officials said that at least 39 people have been killed by the storm due to suffocation, landslides, fallen trees and collapsed walls. More than 500,000 people have been affected by the storm.

Disaster-response agencies said the storm brought rain to the mountainous north of the country which flowed down rivers and flooded villages downstream in rural including Pangasinan.


"We were terrified and prayed as we stayed under a table for hours after strong winds blew away the roof and walls of our house," said one survivor, 72 years old Andres Subang, who told Reuters of how his family made it through the disaster.

"I have experienced countless typhoons in my lifetime, but this was the worst. It left nothing, we have no food and no more livelihood."

Agriculture and infrastructure have been damaged to the tune of at least 5.3 billion pesos ($ 115 million), according to goverment estimates.

Thousands of troops, police and volunteers have been mobilised to help the people displaced by the storm.

President Benigno Aquino has visited Nueva Ecija and helped to distribute emergency supplies to people forced from their homes.

Residents of villages were warned not to return to their homes.

"They think it is safe already to go back to their communities but we are preventing them right now," Aquino said.

Storm Koppu is the the second strongest storm to hit the Philippines this years. Thyphoon Haiyan, the most powerful storm ever recorded, devastated towns in the center of the Philippines and left more than 7,300 people dead or missing.

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TRTWorld and agencies