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Floodwaters threaten hundreds of thousands

Typhoon hammers Mindanao

  • ucanews.com reporter, Manila
  • Philippines
  • September 25, 2012
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Nearly 250,000 people could be affected and many are already fleeing from rising floodwaters as Typhoon Jelawat continues to batter the southern island of Mindanao today.

In the town of Siocon in Zamboanga del Norte province, thousands of residents have fled to safer ground since heavy downpours began on Sunday. The army reported today that more than 40 houses have been washed away in at least four villages, while roads leading to several remote areas are now impassable.

Local commander Major General Ricardo Rainier Cruz ordered his troops today to "prepare and undertake rescue and retrieval operations."

Siocon town and nearby Sirawai, as well as the city of Zamboanga, have already been declared disaster areas.

Reports say at least two people have been killed while another person is missing.

At least 4,500 people were stranded in various parts of the southern Philippines when transport services were halted.

Heavy rains, strong winds, and huge waves have battered the coastal city of Zamboanga since the weekend. Some 500 people were evacuated from coastal villages while the city government said almost 1,000 families were affected.

The typhoon intensified today as it moved northwards, packing winds of up to 200 kms per hour near its center, the weather bureau said.

Residents living in low-lying and mountainous areas have been alerted to possible flash floods and landslides.

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