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13 Killed, 47,000 Left Homeless as Typhoon Strikes Philippines

October 25, 1988|Associated Press

MANILA — Typhoon Ruby pounded the Philippines on Monday with heavy rains and wind gusts up to 140 m.p.h., triggering floods, mudslides and tidal surges that killed at least 13 people and left 47,000 homeless.

Another 30 people were missing and feared dead in a storm-related bus accident, and an inter-island vessel with nearly 500 passengers and crew was missing in stormy seas, the military said.

The missing vessel, the Marilyn, reported engine trouble en route from Manila to Tacloban, on the central island of Leyte, and could have taken shelter in an isolated harbor, the coast guard said. It was last reported about 200 miles southeast of Manila.

At 11 p.m. Monday, Ruby had sustained winds of 115 m.p.h. and its center was moving northwest at 16 m.p.h. toward densely populated central Luzon Island. Power outages and scattered flooding hit Manila early today as Ruby approached.

The U.S. military's television network reported wind gusts up to 140 m.p.h. "This is one of the worst typhoons this year," said Juanito Lirios, deputy weather service director. "Manila is in great danger. Let us not take chances. If we do not take care then there could be a great loss of lives."

Some commercial flights were canceled and schools were closed in Manila. All six U.S. military bases in the Philippines were put on maximum storm alert.

Ruby was expected to pass 50 miles west-northwest of Manila this morning.

Ruby is the 18th typhoon or tropical storm to hit the Philippines this year and the second in four days. The government's Department of Social Welfare said 47,000 people nationwide were homeless.

At the U.S. Clark Air Base, 50 miles north of Manila, a spokeswoman said some aircraft were being evacuated late Monday.

Schools were closed at the bases and U.S. military television said that only "mission-essential personnel" were on duty.

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