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China's Xi condoles with typhoon-hit Philippines

Philstar.com
China's Xi condoles with typhoon-hit Philippines
In this September 11 photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a roundtable meeting on interregional cooperation between Russia and China following the Russian-Chinese talks on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.
Sergei Chirikov / POOL / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Chinese President Xi Jinping has expressed sympathies to President Rodrigo Duterte after Typhoon Ompong (international name Mangkhut) barreled into the country last Saturday.

The typhoon's strong winds and intense rain left infrastructure and agriculture damage across the country.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the number of people killed by "Ompong" has climbed to 74, according to the Philippine National Police.

"On behalf of the Chinese government and people, and in his own name, Xi mourned the victims and expressed sympathy to those injured, the bereaved families and the people in the affected area," the Chinese Embassy said in a statement.

"Xi said that China and the Philippines are friendly neighbors, and the Chinese people shared the sadness of the Philippine people over their sufferings, and are willing to help as much as possible," it added.

The typhoon pummeled into southern China after devastating the Philippines, where it caused landslides and building collapses.

According to the Hong Kong Observatory, Mangkhut was the most powerful cyclone to hit the country since 1979 with maximum gusts of up to 195 kilometers per hour.

The typhoon has weakened to a tropical storm as it moves deeper into southern China affecting the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan.

Most of the fatalities in the Philippines came from the Cordillera Administrative Region, the police said. About 55 people remain missing while 74 were wounded.

Retrieval and rescue operations are continuing for small-scale miners and their families who might have been buried in the 300-meter landslide in Itogon, Benguet.

Most of the dead were retrieved from a bunkhouse used by former Benguet Corp., which was located outside the mining tunnel below the mountain slopes.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered the suspension of small-scale mining in the region following a typhoon-induced landslide that left dozens of people dead. — Patricia Lourdes Viray with reports from Associated Press

RODRIGO DUTERTE TYPHOON MANGKHUT TYPHOON OMPONG XI JINPING
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 18, 2018 - 11:36am

Typhoon Mangkhut is feared to gain strength as it approaches the Philippine area of responsibility. The tropical cyclone will be named "Ompong" once within the country's vicinity.

The United States Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center records that "Mangkhut" has maximum sustained winds of 80 knots or 148 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 185 kilometers per hour as of Monday morning.

Forecast track of the cyclone shows that it is heading toward the northernmost tip of the country's water off northern Luzon by Friday.

September 18, 2018 - 11:36am

The Department of the Interior and Local Government tallies 66 dead, 62 missing in wake of Typhoon Ompong, ONE News reports.

The department says it will also look into potential lapses in local governments' disaster preparations.
 

September 18, 2018 - 10:02am

The United Church of Christ in the Philippines clarifies Tuesday that a church reported to have collapsed in a landslide in Itogon, Benguet was an old bunkhouse that was being used as a place of worship by United Church Fellowship (Pentecostal Group).

The casualty figure on Monday was at 56 dead but the figure is expected to rise, with around 40 to 50 people believed to still be buried in the mud as search and retrieval operations continue.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, who said he is a member of UCCP, on Monday played down President Rodrgo Duterte's remark over the weekend that the "church" would not have collapsed if people had replaced the priest there. He also said priests are stupid.

"Ang tingin ko naman po, hindi naman po seryoso ang presidente. Let's not take his words always literally," Roque said.

Benguet was one of the areas hardest hit by Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) over the weekend.

September 17, 2018 - 3:53pm

Philippine and Chinese authorities say the death toll from a typhoon has risen to at least 69 with dozens missing.

Mangkhut weakened to a tropical storm Monday morning as it moved deeper into southern China, where rain and strong winds were expected to continue through Tuesday.

A Philippine national police report said the death toll as of Monday midday was 65, with 43 people missing and 64 injured. Chinese authorities reported four deaths from falling trees and building materials in Guangdong, China's manufacturing hub.

Many of the missing in the Philippines are gold miners and their families feared buried in a landslide after seeking shelter in a bunkhouse-turned-chapel in a village in Benguet province.

Mangkhut battered the northern Philippines on Saturday before slamming into southern China on Sunday. It was the most powerful typhoon to hit Hong Kong since 1979, packing winds of 195 kilometers per hour (121 mph). — AP

September 17, 2018 - 3:53pm

Mangkhut has weakened from a typhoon to a tropical storm as it moves deeper into China.

The storm was still affecting southern China's coast and the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan on Monday morning and rain and strong winds were expected to continue through Tuesday.

Hong Kong residents were being told to stay away from the coastline and be on alert for occasional gales. Bus, ferry and rail services were suspended and almost 900 flights were canceled at the city's airport, one of the world's busiest. The South China Morning Post said Hong Kong's hospitals had to use backup power due to outages caused by the storm.

Mangkhut earlier lashed the Philippines, sparking landslides and building collapses that killed at least 64 people. At least two deaths have been reported in China. As of Monday morning Mangkhut was on track to pass over the Guangxi regional capital of Nanning.

The Hong Kong Observatory reported Mangkhut was the most powerful cyclone to hit the city since 1979, packing maximum sustained gusts of 195 kilometers per hour (121 mph). — AP

September 16, 2018 - 12:35pm

Australia is providing A$800,000 (P30.9 million) worth of humanitarian supplies to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Ompong. This includes sleeping mats, blankets and hygiene and shelter kits for up to 25,000 people in the most affected areas.

These supplies are being distributed by the Philippine Red Cross.

Australia also deployed humanitarian experts to the Philippines.

"Our Embassy is coordinating closely with Philippine authorities and our international partners... We stand ready to provide further assistance, if requested by the Philippine Government," the Australian government says.

 

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