Philippine super typhoon toll surges to 77

Updated 19 July 2014

Philippine super typhoon toll surges to 77

MANILA: The disaster-weary Philippines braced for a second severe storm in five days on Saturday as the death toll from Typhoon Rammasun surged to 77, officials said.
While Tropical Storm 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,” President Benigno Aquino’s spokeswoman Abigail Valte said in a warning broadcast over government radio.
The threat from Matmo came as the country picked up the pieces from Rammasun, the first major storm of the wet season and the deadliest since Super Typhoon Haiyan killed about 7,300 people in November last year.
Rammasun 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 Co.
However, it warned that power cuts of up to five 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.
Matmo was about 600 km miles off the eastern island of Samar on Saturday morning with maximum gusts of up to 90 km 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 km 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.


Protests in New Delhi against India’s citizenship law ahead of Trump visit

Updated 23 February 2020

Protests in New Delhi against India’s citizenship law ahead of Trump visit

  • Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it
  • The protest comes just a day before US President Donald Trump begins a two-day visit to India

NEW DELHI: Police used tear gas to disperse large crowds in India’s capital of New Delhi on Sunday in the latest eruption of violence at protests over a new citizenship law, police officials said.
Hundreds of people supporting the new law clashed with those opposing it, with the two groups pelting each other with stones in the Maujpur area in the northeastern part of the city, according to television footage.
“There must be some miscreants who want to spoil the peace in the area. We will identify them and take action against them,” Alok Kumar, a senior Delhi police official, told reporters about the protest.
“The situation is under control now,” he added.
The protest comes just a day before US President Donald Trump begins a two-day visit to India, where he is expected to raise the issue of religious freedom in the country with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, which eases the path for non-Muslims from neighboring Muslim-majority nations to gain citizenship, has triggered weeks of sometimes violent protests against Modi’s government.
The Indian law is seen by opponents as discriminating against Muslims and has deepened concerns that Modi’s administration is undermining India’s secular traditions.
Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party denies any bias against the country’s 180 million Muslims.
On Sunday, a separate protest also erupted in the northern Indian city of Aligarh, where protesters threw stones at the police, state administration official Chandra Bhushan Singh said.
The Internet in the area had been suspended until midnight, he added.