Floodwaters rise as Typhoon Koppu drenches Philippines

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Rising floodwaters are causing alarm in dozens of villages, as Typhoon Koppu continues to drench the northern Philippines.

The slow-moving typhoon has killed at least two people and forced more than 16,000 from their homes.

Troops have been deployed to help residents trapped on rooftops, but are struggling to access more remote areas.

Despite weakening, the typhoon is expected to stay over the country - and keep dumping rain - until Wednesday.

Map of Philippines

Typhoon Koppu made landfall near the town of Casiguran on the island of Luzon on Sunday morning, bringing winds of close to 200km/h (124mph) and cutting power to vast areas.

 

A teenager was killed by a fallen tree in Manila which also injured four others. A concrete wall collapsed in Subic town, northwest of Manila, killed a 62-year-old woman, officials reported.

By dawn on Monday wind speeds were down to 150 km/h (93 mph) in the northern town of Santiago, the state weather service said.

But rising floodwaters are preventing even military vehicles reaching many of the worst-hit villages and rescuers report a shortage of boats.

Media captionThe BBC's David Shukman on Luzon: ''The sheer quantity of rain is what the authorities are really worried about''

While the Philippines is no stranger to typhoons, the slow-moving nature of Koppu, called Lando by local weather authorities, means heavy rain will fall for longer than usual, bringing greater risk of flooding and landslides.

After leaving the north of the main island of Luzon on Wednesday, the typhoon is forecast to head towards Taiwan.

Filipino typhoon victims wade on flood water in Cabanatuan city, northern ManilaImage copyrightEPA
Image captionWith rains still falling, the risk of flooding is even greater than during typical typhoons
People gather at a gymnasium turned into an evacuation centre for the distribution of relief goods in San Jose city, Nueva Ecija province.Image copyrightEPA
Image captionEssential supplies are being distributed at evacuation centres around the country
A Filipino man scavenges recyclable materials by the sea as strong winds and rains caused by the typhoon hit the coastal town of Navotas, north of ManilaImage copyrightAP
Image captionAs the typhoon whipped up seas near Manila, one man took the chance to scavenge for recyclable materials

Justin Morgan, Philippines country director for the charity Oxfam, said the impact of the typhoon was becoming clearer.

"We are seeing damage as a result of wind, particularly to important infrastructure like hospitals, but also in terms of the flooding. The flooding has been a metre deep in some locations."

He stressed that while evacuations for those still in the path of the typhoon was the most urgent task, "we can expect that there will be needs in terms of helping people recover their livelihoods as we know that many of the farmers would have lost their crops."

In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines causing major destruction and leaving more than 7,300 people dead or missing.


Why is Koppu slow-moving? Chris Fawkes, BBC Weather Centre, explains:

There are two typhoons in the west Pacific at the moment - Typhoon Champi sits just to the east of Koppu.

The complex interaction between these two typhoons and the warm air within these storms helps to build a ridge of high pressure over Taiwan this weekend. It is this ridge that effectively traps typhoon Koppu over the Philippines for a number of days rather than it being able to turn away from the Philippines and out of harm's way to the South China Sea.


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