Philippines: Typhoon death toll surging as another storm approaches country

MANILA, Oct 30 (Xinhua): The death toll from Typhoon Molave has risen to 22, a government disaster agency said on Friday, while the country's weather bureau announced another storm is on the way.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said in an updated report that four were still missing and 39 injured after the typhoon pounded the Philippines from Sunday to Tuesday.

Typhoon Molave, the 17th tropical cyclone to lash the Philippines this year, displaced over 775,513 people in 2,469 villages in seven regions in the main island of Luzon and the central Philippines, and triggered flooding and landslides before blowing out of the archipelago early this week.

The agency said more than 16,000 affected villagers were either staying in 150 evacuation centers or with relatives.

Strong winds and rain from Typhoon Molave have left extensive damage on crops and infrastructure, the agency said.

Typhoon Molave slammed into the country's eastern coast on Sunday night, bringing heavy rains and strong winds that toppled trees and power lines.

The Philippines was still reeling from the flooding triggered by Tropical Storm Saudel, which barrelled through the Philippines last week.

Meanwhile, PAGASA, the country's weather bureau, said on Friday that the Philippines is bracing for Typhoon Goni that is forecast to make landfall on the eastern shore of the Luzon island on Sunday night or Monday morning.

Some of the provinces pummeled by Molave are in its path.

About 20 typhoons and tropical storms batter the Philippines each year.

The archipelago of 110 million people has frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. It is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world due to its location in the "Pacific Ring of Fire" and Pacific typhoon belt.

The Philippines lost 463 billion pesos (roughly US$9.56 billion) in damages to natural disasters from 2010 to 2019, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Wednesday. - Xinhua
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