Killer Storm Threatens Philippines a Second Time

Posted December 8th, 2012 at 11:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Weather forecasters say a typhoon that swept through the southern Philippines last week, killing hundreds of people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless, has made landfall again, this time in the north.

The Philippine state weather service said Sunday that former Typhoon Bopha has weakened to a tropical depression and has brushed across the northern tip of the main island of Luzon. Forecasters say rainfall is the major concern, with landslides and flash flooding likely.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii issued its last bulletin Sunday, predicting that Bopha will dissipate in the South China Sea within 24 hours.

Typhoon Bopha smashed into the southern province of Mindanao Wednesday, with wind gusts of up to 160 kilometers per hour, killing more than 500 people and leaving more than 800 missing.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino flew to the southern island Friday to survey the damage and meet with many of the victims living in shelters. Aid workers say shelters are short on supplies.

Rescuers are still searching for bodies in the affected regions.

In the town of New Bataan, which was nearly leveled, Mr. Aquino told the dazed residents that the government wants to find out what happened and how to prevent such devastation from happening again.

Many areas are still inaccessible because of washed-out roads, destroyed bridges and power outages from the storm, which brought powerful winds and heavy rains to the area beginning Tuesday.