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Philippines hit by new storm


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POSTED: Sunday, October 04, 2009

As Filipino groups planned for a major fundraising effort today to help victims of Tropical Storm Ketsana, they waited for word on the damage from yet another deadly storm in the Philippines.

Typhoon Parma killed at least 16 people and left more than a dozen flooded villages cut off as it cut through Northern Luzon yesterday.

Orlando Matias has a sister and two brothers in Isabela, a province on the Northeastern coast just south of Cagayan Province, where the storm made landfall — packing rain and winds of 108 mph.

“;I have been trying my best to get in touch with them,”; he said.

About 3,000 people from Isabela live in Hawaii, said Matias, former president of the Isabela-Hawaii Association. Isabela is also a sister state to Hawaii.

Geminiano Arre, president of the FilCom Center, said some of the money raised today at the telethon will also go to victims of Typhoon Parma. So far, Arre said the center has collected $13,600 and hopes to raise $100,000 by Oct. 24.

About 170,000 people fled to higher ground as Parma bore down. Towns in half a dozen provinces were battered, and downpours swelled rivers to bursting, officials said.

Police Senior Superintendent Loreto Espineli said a family of five, including a 1-year-old boy, died when their home in Benguet province was buried as Parma hit. Seven people, including another family of five, were buried in a nearby village, he said.

               

     

 

HOW TO SEND HELP

        » Filipino Community Center: A fundraising event will be held today from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the community center. KNDI-AM radio will broadcast during the event from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Donations can also be mailed to the FilCom Center, Suite 302, 94-428 Mokuola St., Waipahu 96797; or drop them off. Do not mail cash.
       

» American Red Cross: Send contributions to Hawaii State Chapter, 4155 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu 96816; or American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Call 800-733-2767. For online donations visit www.redcross.org.

       

Don Alvarez, president of the Cagayan Valley Association of Hawaii, which has about 300 members, said he's still waiting to find out about the damage.

Alvarez said he hasn't heard from family members who were visiting Manila earlier this week.

“;I don't know if the place is flooded,”; he said. “;We cannot get in touch with them.”;

Manila and nearby provinces were spared most of the rain from Parma. But on Sept. 26, Tropical Storm Ketsana killed at least 288 people and damaged the homes of 3 million in and around the capital city during the worst flooding in four decades.

After Parma hit yesterday, power, phone lines and Internet links were down, making it difficult to get reports about the extent of damage from Parma, Armand Araneta, a civil defense official responsible for several northern provinces, said.

Large parts of Cagayan, Isabela, Kalinga-Apayao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and Abra provinces remained without power.

Tony Sagayadoro, a DJ at KNDI-AM, has cousins in Isabela.

The province is the rice basket of the country and the storm was decimating crops in the middle of harvesting season, Sagayadoro said.

“;The biggest concern really are the crops,”; he said. “;It's like having no paycheck for six months…. A lot of families here are very, very worried.”;

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Star-Bulletin news services contributed to this report.