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http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-09-27/typhoon-nesat-kills-7-cuts-power-causes-floods-in-manila.html

Bloomberg News

Typhoon Nesat Kills 7, Cuts Power, Causes Floods in Manila

September 27, 2011

(Updates with impact on Malaysia in eighth paragraph.)

Sept. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Typhoon Nesat killed at least seven people in the Philippines, shut financial markets, flooded streets and cut power supplies before weakening as it crossed the Sierra Madre mountains on the most populous island of Luzon.

Nesat was 70 kilometers northwest of Baguio City with maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour and gusts of as much as 150 kph, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Administration’s 4 p.m. bulletin on its website. That’s down from winds of 140 kph when it made landfall at 4 a.m. today in the northern provinces of Aurora and Isabela.

Four people died when a wall collapsed in Valenzuela City while a one-year-old boy was killed in Catanduanes province when he fell into a creek, according to the disaster risk agency. More than 3,000 passengers were stranded in ports and more than 19,000 were in evacuation centers or staying with relatives and friends, the risk agency said. The government had ordered evacuation of more than 111,000 people.

The Philippines gets hit by an average of 20 cyclones each year that form over the Pacific Ocean to the east. In September 2009, Tropical Storm Ketsana submerged most of the nation’s capital after dumping 41 centimeters (16 inches) of rain in six hours, killing more than 300 people.

Landslides were monitored in Camarines Sur and Catanduanes provinces east of Manila while a tornado was spotted in Isabela, the risk agency said. Floods rose above the knees of people in front of the U.S. Embassy and Manila Hotel in the capital, GMA News TV footage showed.

Wind toppled trees and in at least two cases, knocked down shanties and killed residents, according to police reports. Instances of flying rooftops and billboards injured four people in Manila and Makati cities, police said. Felled trees and power posts contributed to a widespread outage earlier today, Manila Electric Co. said.

Malaysia, Vietnam

Nesat is forecast to move west-northwest at 19 kph on a track that will take it across the island into the South China Sea over the next two days, according to the weather agency. The public storm alert has been lowered in some provinces, including in the capital.

Tail winds from Typhoon Nesat also uprooted trees and blew off rooftops in Philippine neighbor Malaysia’s eastern Sabah state, the Star reported online. Some 15,000 people were affected when electricity and telephone lines were cut, it said.

“We have issued a warning for gusty conditions until October 1,” Mohammad Mukrim, Meteorological Officer at Sabah State Meteorological Department, said by phone in Kota Kinabalu today. “Waves could reach 3.5 meters to 4.5 meters high. We expect the typhoon will move towards northern Vietnam.”

Philippines President Benigno Aquino, who’s in Japan for courtesy calls and investor meetings, said he’s monitoring the situation and is in constant touch with his cabinet. Aquino is scheduled to arrive in Manila tomorrow.

Manila Electric

About 1 million customers of the nation’s biggest power retailer are still without electricity as of 6 p.m., Manila Electric Co. said in its latest bulletin. That’s about 21 percent of its 4.9 million customers, compared with 44 percent that were without power at midday and 38 percent at 2 p.m.

In the northern province of Cagayan, a bus from Manila fell off the road after the driver lost control, killing one passenger and injuring the driver and five others, Senior Superintendent Mao Aplasca of the provincial police said in a mobile phone message. In Ifugao, home to the Banaue rice terraces, a bridge collapsed, according to provincial police.

Four dams nearing full capacity have spilled water, the disaster risk agency said.

Offices, Markets Shut

Government offices and schools in the capital and nearby provinces were shut, Aquino’s spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, said in a mobile phone message earlier today. The Philippine stock exchange didn’t open for trading, while the government postponed a treasury bond auction set for 1 p.m. Manila time to tomorrow. Trading of government bonds and currencies was suspended, Central Bank Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said.

More than 50 domestic flights were cancelled, ABS-CBN News reported, citing data from Manila International Airport Authority.

Manila’s three main commuter railway lines suspended operations today because of power shortages, GMA News TV reported.

--With assistance from Ian Sayson, Karl Lester M. Yap and Joel Guinto in Manila, Gan Yen Kuan in Kuala Lumpur and Alexander Kwiatkowski in Singapore. Editors: Alexander Kwiatkowski, Alan Soughley

To contact the reporters on this story: Cecilia Yap in Manila at cyap19@bloomberg.net; Clarissa Batino in Manila at cbatino@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rebecca Evans at revans6@bloomberg.net


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