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Page last updated at 18:26 GMT, Thursday, 22 October 2009 19:26 UK

Philippines braces for new storm

Philippine Coast Guard carry a rubber boat in Manila, 20 October
The government has sent rubber boats and aid supplies to the north

Officials in the Philippines have put the northern province of Cagayan on the highest storm alert, as another typhoon heads towards the battered country.

Typhoon Lupit is expected to hit the town of Aparri at 0500 (2100GMT), with gusts of 195km/h (121mph).

Hundreds of families have left the area and soldiers have been deployed, along with tonnes of food aid.

The country is reeling from back-to-back storms that caused landslides and floods, killing more than 850 people.

Third storm

Typhoon Lupit was swirling 180km (111 miles) east of the coastal town of Aparri, packing furious winds and heavy rain, government forecasters said late on Thursday.

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But although the storm was expected to hit Cagayan, it was not expected to be over land for more than 12 hours, they added.

Huge waves and strong winds broke a 20-metre seawall in Aparri, Reuters news agency reported.

Some residents were securing the roofs of their houses with sandbags and rope, while others were leaving the town in buses, reports said.

Floods and landslides caused by tropical storms Ketsana and Parma have killed more than 850 people over the past month, leaving many homeless.

The capital Manila is also dealing with a deadly bacterial outbreak that has killed 148 people and infected almost 2,000 in the flooded areas.

The authorities say nearly 1.3 million people are still living in flooded conditions. Some 200,000 others are stranded at evacuation camps.

The country has appealed for international aid to help the rebuilding efforts.



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