INTRODUCTION: At least 63 people died and thousands were made homeless when a typhoon swept through the Philippines earlier this week (23-26 November).
MANILA CITY, PHILIPPINES (VISNEWS - MANUEL H. SILVA)
GV PAN Catamaran washed up on palm-fringed beach
GV Palm trees
GV Windswept promenade with beached vessel
SV Man on beach waves to ship
LS & ZOOM TO GV Beached and capsized ship
TS Semi-submerged capsized ship PAN TO two other ships close to each other
AV Two locked together ships at breakwater and one on side: MORNING AFTER
AV Capsized ships (3 shots)
LS Various ships at sea
AV Angat dam breached and flooded landscape (6 shots)
Background: INTRODUCTION: At least 63 people died and thousands were made homeless when a typhoon swept through the Philippines earlier this week (23-26 November). It approached the Pacific group of islands on Tuesday (24 November), and its two days of fury left a trail of damage and misery.
SYNOPSIS: Countries in the Pacific region have always been vulnerable to typhoons. This was the worst blow of 1981. It was code-named Irma by weather stations monitoring its progress. Little could be done as it demolished anything in its path.
Wind speeds of up to 115 kilometres per hour were recorded over the many small provinces throughout the Philippines.
Shipping, an important feature of everybody life among these island communities, took a heavy battering. Hundreds of small sail and fishing boats at sea and in harbours were either capsized or grounded. In the capital, Manila, craft were flung against a sea wall.
While seafarers struggled to cope, people on dry land were also suffering from Typhoon Irma. About 47 people died in the eastern province of Camarines when giant waves swept through a remote coastal town. Thousands lost their homes on the main island of Luzon, with damage to property and crops estimated at almost nine and a half million dollars.
Even as the storm was dying out, reports were reaching the Manila civil defence office of injuries to 37 people in the town of Garchitorena. Another 70 were later listed as officially missing. With conditions at sea still dangerous, relief supplies had to be flown in to those hardest hit. Food supplies were not expected to be a problem, despite damage to crops and fishing fleets.
Typhoon Irma finally swept out across the South China Sea north west of Manila on Wednesday (25 November), losing power as it went. Back on the central island of Luzon, the large Angat dam had been damaged. Large supplies of water from its reservoir had to be released to prevent overloading. The result was flooding over thousands of hectares of agricultural land. National Food Authority Chief Jesus Tanchanco said rice crops worth almost nine million dollars were damaged, in addition to many homes belonging to the farmers.
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