#GlendaPH toll rises to 77 as new storm threatens
MANILA, Philippines – The disaster-weary Philippines braced for a second severe storm in 5 days on Saturday, July 19, as the death toll from Typhoon Glenda (Rammasun) surged to 77, officials said.
While Tropical Storm Henry (Matmo) was not forecast to hit the main island of Luzon, the weather service warned it would still bring heavy rains to the area over the weekend, along with the threat of flash floods or landslides.
"(Matmo) has entered the Philippine area of responsibility. We should get ready now before the heavy rains fall," Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview with state-run Radyo ng Bayan.
The threat from Henry came as the country picked up the pieces from Glenda, the first major storm of the wet season and the deadliest since Super Typhoon Haiyan killed about 7,300 people in November last year.
Glenda sliced across the country's economic heartland including Manila on Tuesday, killing 77 people and wrecking more than 111,000 homes, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in an updated tally.
The death toll had stood at 54 dead a day earlier, before casualty reports from remote areas came in.
Power was restored to most of Manila, a sprawling metropolis of more than 12 million people, overnight Friday, according to the regional utility Manila Electric Company.
However, it warned that power cuts of up to 5 hours a day would continue across the capital as it rations limited supply, with a number of generating plants still cut off from the grid.
The government said it would take a few more days to repair thousands of power pylons and downed transmission lines across the industrial provinces south of Manila and the impoverished Bicol agricultural region to the southeast. (READ: Luzon on red alert due to power supply deficiency)
Henry was about 600 kilometers (380) miles off the eastern island of Samar on Saturday morning with maximum gusts of up to 90 kilometers an hour, the state weather service said.
It was forecast to head northeast, skirting Luzon before hitting the sparsely populated Batan island group between Luzon and Taiwan early Tuesday.
The Philippines endures about 20 cyclones each year.
Rammasun was meanwhile lashing southern China's Guangxi region bordering Vietnam Saturday with maximum sustained winds of 155 kilometers an hour, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.
It is forecast to weaken into a tropical storm on Sunday and dissolve into a low-pressure area on Monday as it tracks the China-Vietnam border. – Rappler.com