Philippines hit by Typhoon "Kiko" (Morakot), dozens killed

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A powerful typhoon has killed dozens of people, affected over 28,000 people in the Philippines, and caused the evacuation of 21,190 people from south east China.

Track map of Tropical Storm Morakat (Kiko) of the 2009 Pacific typhoon season.
Some villages are inundated with five feet high floods.

The Philippines were hit by 175 kilometers per hour (kph) winds with gusts of up to 210 kph, as well as heavy rain which triggered flooding and landslides.

Ten Philippine villages have been inundated by four and five feet deep flooding. Thousands cling to tree tops and are stranded on roof tops awaiting rescue by helicopter. Over 12,000 have been evacuated and over 1,000 are homeless.

Landslides have trapped Korean and Canadian mountaineers whose guide could not be rescued. Landslides have closed highways and have caused traffic jams ten kilometers long. Three French tourists and their two Filipino guides have been killed due to landslides on Mount Pinatubo. Five miners remain missing after a landslide destroyed their living quarters.

Typhoon Morakot (Kiko) over Taiwan August 7, 2009.

Electricity is down in some areas of the Philippines resulting in a collapse in contact as radios and cellphones have not been re-charged.

Botolan town hit by a flash flood has been declared as in a state of calamity.

School classes have been cancelled in various locations across the Philippines, and many city roads are not traversable due to flood waters.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) has reported that over 28,629 people have been affected and of these 10% have been evacuated.

On August 8, the typhoon is diminishing but still recording 150 kph winds with gusts reaching 185 kph according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

A capsized fishing boat off the coast of the province of Hainan has initiated search and rescue efforts for nine missing fishermen. School classes have been suspended, boats called into port, and businesses closed in China's Fujian Province. The provincial government used cell phone text messages to contact 8.4 million warning its residents of Morakot's approach to mainland China.

Typhoons occur in the South China Sea every year between May and September.