Filipinos return home after Typhoon Chanchu
Manila, May 15 : Thousands of evacuees started to return home in the central Philippines today as typhoon Chanchu headed towards southern China after killing 37 people and ripping up villages in the southeast Asian country.
''There are only 435 families left in the evacuation centres,'' Nerti Amparo, chief of operations at the National Disaster Coordinating Council, told Philippine television.
''With the weather that we have now, they would start going back to their homes except for those who have lost their houses and have no relatives to turn to.'' More than 600 homes were completely destroyed while over 3,500 were partially damaged after Chanchu, with gusts of up to 150 km per hour, ripped through the central and northwestern Philippines over the weekend.
Thirty-even people were killed in the tropical storm, including 25 drowned when a boat sank after defying coastguard orders to stay in port.
Power and telephone lines were being restored and debris cleared in southern Luzon and the central Visayas region. Domestic flights and some ferry services were resumed.
Chanchu is currently over the South China sea and is expected to hit the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, including Hong Kong and Macau, on Wednesday, Chinese state media said.
About 20 typhoons hit the Philippine archipelago each year, half a dozen of which cross the country, mostly during the rainy season from mid-May until September.