New storm headed for typhoon-battered central Philippines
Thursday, December 7th 2006, 9:56 am
By: News On 6
MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ A new storm system approaching the Philippines is on track to become the second typhoon in 10 days to batter the archipelago, as the country struggles to recover from mudslides that left more than 1,000 people dead or missing, forecasters said Thursday.
The tropical depression was about 600 miles east of Leyte island and was forecast to make landfall Saturday, before moving toward the central city of Cebu, where Asian leaders are gathering for a three-day summit starting Monday, weather projections show.
The Philippine weather bureau said the storm was packing sustained winds of 34 mph on Thursday and moving west at 12 mph. The system is forecast to intensify into a typhoon, the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center said.
The Philippines is hit by about 20 typhoons and storms a year, which frequently trigger deadly landslides and flash floods.
In 1991, a flash flood in Ormoc city on the western side of Leyte island killed about 6,000 people.
Last week, Typhoon Durian, with winds of up to 165 mph, unleashed walls of volcanic debris, mud and floodwaters on villages on the slopes of the Mayon volcano in the Bicol region, southeast of Manila.
Official figures showed 570 people were killed and 746 are missing and feared dead.
More than 1 million people in 13 eastern provinces were affected, and about 20,000 have gone to evacuation centers. With the help of foreign aid, the government has launched a massive cleanup operation.