SUPERTYPHOON ISOLATES NORTH LUZON
Manila, Oct. 15, 1998 - Supertyphoon Iliang (international code name Zeb) roared across Northern Luzon yesterday and last night, cutting off power and communications and causing floods that rendered roads impassable.
Iliang unleashed 300-kph winds, and is one of the most powerful storms to hit the Philippines in decades. Satellite tracking images of the typhoon showed that its fury covered most of the country. The rains have forced evacuations as far south as Camarines Sur, although the eye of the storm was going through the Mountain Province, Kalinga-Apayao area.
Reports to the National Disaster Coordinating Center from the typhoon-ravaged areas have been delayed because communication and power lines were blown down by the storm.
A live Television report by Henry Omaga-Dias of ABS-CBN from Isabela, Cagayan Province last night showed thousands of residents fleeing to safer ground as strong winds and heavy rains continued to lash the province. The wind was so strong that a passenger jeepney was shown blown several meters away from where it was parked. Roads were shown littered with falling trees and power lines.
Disaster and relief operations centers in Manila are now assessing the fastest means to get emergency goods like food and medicine to the stricken areas.
The typhoon is expected to exit to the South China Sea today, but rains and winds are still expected to be felt in Northern and Central Luzon, where typhoon signals three and two, respectively, remain hoisted. Metro Manila and Southern Tagalog provinces are covered by typhoon signal 1.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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