Killer Typhoon Threatens Philippines a Second Time

Posted December 8th, 2012 at 1:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Weather forecasters say a typhoon that swept through the southern Philippines, killing hundreds of people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless, has turned back towards the islands and could make landfall again on Sunday.

The Philippine state weather service said Saturday that Typhoon Bopha could slam into the northern tip of the main island of Luzon with wind gusts of up to 160 kilometers an hour. Forecasters say it could also steer clear of land, but bring storm conditions to the region for a second time.

Typhoon Bopha smashed into the southern province of Mindanao Wednesday, killing more than 500 people and leaving about that many 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.

By Thursday, the storm had moved west of the country into the South China Sea, before looping back to aim at the northern Philippines.