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Saturday, October 24, 1998 Published at 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK


World: Asia-Pacific

China next for Typhoon Babs

Flooding in Quezon city, northeast of Manila

After killing more than 100 hundred people and wreaking havoc in the Philipinnes, Typhoon Babs is now heading for southern China and Hong Kong.


What Babs did to the Philipinnes
The storm is expected to pick up strength over the South China Sea, it is already packing winds up to 160 kph (100 mph) after veering off from the Philippines, sparing the capital, Manila, from a direct hit.

But in other parts of the Philippines Typhoon Babs has left a trail of death and destruction.

Most of the casualties occurred in the east - 67 people died on the island of Catanduanes alone, where a landslide buried the village of Kilikilihan on Thursday. Philippines President Joseph Estrada declared Catanduanes - together with three other other provinces and a city - under a state of calamity.


John McLean: "Thousands of residents are seeking safety in evacuation centres"
The storm - the second in a week - has caused widespread devastation triggering floods and landslides and forcing more than 300,000 people to flee their homes.

Damage to crops and infrastructure has been put at 1.34 billion pesos ($32m), but officials said this was a very early estimate.


[ image: Zeb claimed around 100 lives]
Zeb claimed around 100 lives
Such was the ferocity of the storm that it could be days before a clear picture emerges of its full effects. Winds of up to 260km/h (160 mph) were recorded, and at sea, the storm generated waves up to 8m high. The giant swirl of cloud around the storm brought torrential rainfall.

The authorities have advised vessels to avoid venturing out onto the high seas. People living in low-lying areas have been told to move to higher ground.

Last week Typhoon Zeb hit the northern Philippines, killing around 100 people before moving on to Taiwan and Japan.

The country is struck by about 24 tropical cyclones every year, but this year is expected to be even stormier than usual because of the weather phenomenon known as La Nina.





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