Thousands flee Philippines storm

Tens of thousands of people in the Philippines were moved to emergency shelters as Typhoon Utor hit the centre of the island nation.

The storm packed winds of 120km/h (75mph), cutting communication lines and water supplies, and causing power blackouts in areas.

At least one person has been killed, according to AFP news agency.

The mass evacuation took place in Albay province, where more than 1,000 people died in Typhoon Durian 10 days ago.

Residents on the southern island of Mindoro, 120km south of the capital, Manila, have been warned to seek higher ground.

During the next 48 hours, Typhoon Utor is expected to head out into the South China Sea - a course that could take it towards Vietnam or southern China.

The Philippines government has postponed two major regional summits on the island of Cebu, which is in the path of the typhoon, until January.

The National Disaster Co-ordinating Council in Manila said more than 100,000 people were already in evacuation centres following last week's storm.

10/12/2006

Bron : BBC News

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