Typhoon Saola death toll climbs

More storms predicted for Northern Philippines

MANILA, Philippines | July 31, 2012

Northern Philippines, in the grips of Typhoon Saola, faced more severe weather Tuesday as the death toll from the storm climbed, officials said.

Luzon, the country's largest island and home to the capital Manila, and parts of the island of Visayas, have taken the brunt of the storm, locally called Gener, which intensified to a typhoon Monday.

The government's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Tuesday raised the number of people confirmed killed in the storm to seven, including a 10-year-old boy, as more rains and strong winds lashed the region, the Philippine Star reported.

The disaster relief agency said most of the victims had downed.

The report said about 8,300 families had been affected in 14 provinces in Luzon, parts of Visayas and Mindanao.

Gener's maximum sustained winds were still clocked at 75 mph and its remnants were expected to stay in the country until Friday before heading to Taiwan, forecasters said.

Storm warnings remained in effect over extensive areas including the Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, Cagalayan Group of Islands, and the Babuyan Group of Islands.

Forecasters said metropolitan Manila and other parts of Luzon including Calabarzon and Mimaropa were expected to receive heavy rains throughout the day and flash flood and landslide warnings were issued in those areas.

The Manila Times said flooding brought on by Gener and two other weather systems was posing problems in large areas of Luzon and parts of the Visayas. Several roads have been damaged, stranding hundreds of people.

Several government offices and schools remained closed Monday.

One forecaster said Gener could bring nearly an inch of rain per hour over a 430-mile diameter area.

At the height of the storm Monday, a barge smashed into the home of several fishermen in a settlers' area near Manila, the Times said.

Elsewhere, the Philippine Coast Guard said at least four vessels ran aground due to the bad weather.

The Manila International Airport Authority said some of the incoming flights had to be diverted.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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