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Bicol battered; 4 dead

Nina forces 383,000 to leave their homes

Typhoon “Nina” is heading out to the West Philippine Sea after ravaging the Bicol region, leaving four people dead and a trail of destruction in its wake a day after Christmas.

A couple were reported killed by a flood while an elderly man was crushed by a falling wall, the governor of the storm-ravaged eastern province of Albay, Al Bichara, said on TV.

Another person was killed and two more were injured when the storm toppled a power line in Quezon province, electrocuting them, a police report said.

An anchored ferry went down off the coastal province of Batangas on Monday with eight crewmen still missing, said coastguard officer Joy Villegas.

Two people also died after suffering heart attacks during the storm but it was unclear if those deaths were directly related to the typhoon, local government reports said.

LEAVING WEDNESDAY. The left and right sides of the Maharlika Highway in Polangui, Albay are a deeply frightening sight of sea as Typhoon ‘Nina’ hits the Bicol peninsula from the Pacific Sunday, while workers (below) check fallen electric pylons on the national road after Typhoon ‘Nina’ hits land in Nabua, Camarines Sur on Monday, as members of the Philippine Coast Guard deploy rescue teams (inset) to different parts of Metro Manila as the capital braces for the 14th weather disturbance to lash the country. AFP/Norman Cruz

More than 383,000 people were forced to flee their homes while over 306 domestic and international flights were canceled due to the storm, the civil defense office said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Response Cluster has started coordinating with the United Nations Office for Coordination on Humanitarian Assistance and private groups through the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation for assistance.

NDRRMC spokesperson Mina Marasigan said hundreds of people in Bicol celebrated Christmas day in evacuation centers where many had to make do with emergency food packs.

Some local officials had offered lechon to entice constituents to go to evacuation centers, Marasigan said.

By late Monday afternoon the typhoon had weakened, with wind gusts of 180 kilometres per hour, and was in the South China Sea heading west away from the country, government weather forecaster Gener Quitlong said.

“Nock-Ten” had been expected to bring heavy rains and winds to Manila, but the city of 13-million residents was spared after the typhoon lost force as it crossed the eastern islands.   

“It was like a blessing in disguise. Every time it hit land, its diameter lessened. It also lost moisture so it became weaker,” government weather forecaster Gener Quitlong told AFP.

Some 20 typhoons or lesser storms strike the Philippines each year, routinely killing hundreds of people, and Bicol is often the first region to be hit.

Mammoth tsunami-like waves devastated the city of Tacloban and nearby areas when super typhoon Haiyan struck the central Philippines in November 2013, leaving 7,350 people dead or missing.

Topics: Bicol region , Typhoon “Nina” , West Philippine Sea , National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Response Cluster , United Nations Office for Coordination on Humanitarian Assistance , Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation
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