New storm hits north Philippines; at least 2 dead
Manila: A second tropical storm in as many weeks battered the northern Philippines after making landfall on Wednesday, killing at least two people, as forecasters warned that the still-reeling capital could see more flooding.
Meanwhile, President Benigno Aquino III scrambled to avert another crisis when hundreds of state weather agency employees protested over their pay and warned that forecasting services could deteriorate.
Tropical Storm Kai-Tak slammed ashore in northeastern Isabela province with maximum winds of 100 kilometres per hour and higher gusts. It is expected to traverse northern farming provinces and exit along Luzon Island`s western seaboard possibly as a powerful typhoon heading toward southern China in the direction of Hong Kong.
The head of the disaster-relief agency, Benito Ramos, reported two deaths, including a man who drowned while swimming in Ilocos Norte province. He said some roads were flooded knee-deep, and government forecasters warned of intense rains that may drench the sprawling capital, Manila, which is still reeling from last week`s monsoon deluge.
Yesterday, an alarmed Aquino rushed to assure the protesting weather agency employees that steps were being taken to resume payment of the cash benefits that had been suspended in March.
"I just reminded that since the weather is bad and we have a weather disturbance, we should not add to the worries of those who were hit by the floods," Aquino told reporters after a hasty meeting with the restive employees.
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