to be no reprieve from a natural disasters this year. The latest culprit is the Typhoon Babs, which caused havoc in the Philippines leaving behind at least 124 dead and forcing thousands to flee their homes. President
Joseph Estrada declared three provinces on the
southern tip of Luzon islands under a state of calamity. Of
the 124 deaths, 67 were attributed to landslides on Catanduanes islands where Babs first struck. No houses were left standing along many streets in Virac, the island's capital. Thirty people died in landslides in the nearby Camaines Sur province. The typhoon proceeded towards South China
Sea with sustained winds of 120 kph, with gusts up to 150
Disaster officials believe that the toll on lives and property would rise once telephone services are restored and the road block- ades caused by the landslides are cleared in the worst-hit areas.
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