Typhoon Koppu hits Philippines, kills at least 16, displaces 60,000 (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
Seven people died when their boat capsized, while a boy was killed after he was hit by a fallen tree in the capital Manila. Authorities in the Philippines fear the death toll may rise as several towns and villages on Luzon Island remain isolated.
More than 60,000 people have been evacuated from low-lying and landslide-prone areas, the country’s national disaster agency said as cited by France 24. Around 267,000 people lost power on Sunday with 2,400 still having no electricity on Monday.
The slow-moving typhoon weakened and was downgraded to “category 1 typhoon” but meteorologists warn that heavy rains will continue to cause floods and landslides.
“I must emphasize that this is just the start. People must remain alert while we try to pick up the pieces in areas already hit,” Alexander Pama, head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council told reporters on Sunday as cited by the Manila Times.
“We are strongly recommending forced evacuations in the Cordillera administrative region, especially villages that are landslide- and flood-prone,” he added referring to the region with more than 1.6 million residents.
The United Nations children's agency (UNICEF) launched a $2.8 million appeal to aid children from the Philippines who are suffering from the disaster.
"Children face risks from contaminated water sources, lack of food, epidemics such as cholera, hypothermia, diarrhea and pneumonia," UNICEF Philippines representative Lotta Sylwander said as cited by Reuters.
Typhoon Koppu formed on October, 10 and hit the Philippines several days later. Its maximum wind speed reached around 200 km/h. The tropical storm is moving rather slowly as it is influenced by another typhoon Champi, which makes it more dangerous because of the longer impact it is having on the affected territories.
The Philippines is one of the most typhoon-prone countries on the planet. The deadly tropical storm Haiyan hit the country in November, 2013, killing about 6,000 and causing massive amounts of damage.