Typhoon Rakes Philippines; 100 Feared Dead
Typhoon Ruby roared across the Philippines today with heavy rain and winds topping 100 m.p.h., causing mud slides and tidal surges that left more than 100 people dead or missing as it bore down on Manila.
A storm-battered inter-island ferry with 481 passengers and crew sent out a distress signal.
The typhoon swept a bus into a river, causing the loss of 35 lives. The military said the passengers were believed drowned when the bus went off a wooden bridge at the height of the storm in the central province of Antique.
Seven other people drowned in two southern provinces, and at least 61 were missing after Ruby pummeled the southern Mindanao region and headed for the country’s most populous island, Luzon, which includes Manila.
The coast guard said the missing ferry, the Marilyn, reported engine trouble en route from Manila to Tacloban City and could have taken shelter in an isolated harbor.
Some flights were canceled and schools were closed in Manila.
The U.S. military television network reported wind gusts up to 140 m.p.h. All six U.S. military bases in the Philippines were put on maximum storm alert.
In Central America, meanwhile, the El Salvador government declared a state of emergency and evacuated residents from flood-prone coastal areas in the path of a tropical storm that re-energized in the Pacific today after killing 98 people as an Atlantic hurricane.
Storm Gains Strength
In Nicaragua, the storm--then called Hurricane Joan--killed at least 50 people and left 300,000 homeless as it crossed the Central American isthmus, its wild winds weakening to tropical storm status along the way. (Story on Page 6.)
But the storm unexpectedly gained strength over the warm water of the Pacific. Forecasters gave Joan a new name, Miriam, and said it could become the first Atlantic hurricane to gain the same status in the Pacific.
“We are ready for it,” declared Interior Minister Edgardo Ernesto Belloso as rains began falling in southeastern El Salvador. He said a hurricane last struck El Salvador in 1934.