MANILA, Philippines -- Weather forecasters today urged northern residents to evacuate to higher ground as Typhoon Cary threatened the Philippines, less than a week after Typhoon Betty killed at least 57 people.
The Manila Weather Bureau said Cary, the eighth typhoon of the season, was located at 10 a.m. in the Pacific Ocean 162 miles southeast of the northern town of Aparri in Cagayan province.
The typhoon was moving northwest at 6 mph with 87 mph winds at its center. The storm was expected to strike the town of Palanan in the Isabela province, 200 miles northeast of Manila, later today.
Wide areas of the rice-producing northern Luzon region were placed on typhoon alert. The weather bureau urged residents of coastal towns and low-lying areas to evacuate to higher ground because of possible flooding.
A bureau spokesman said rains from Cary struck the northeastern section of the main Luzon island this morning. Manila remained unaffected by the typhoon.
The Red Cross said today at least 57 people were killed when Typhoon Betty, the strongest since 1981, smacked central Philippines Wednesday with peak winds of 162 mph. Most of the fatalities were caused by falling coconut trees.
Another 108 were reported injured and 13 were missing. The casualties were expected to increase as communications facilities were restored to affected areas, officials said.
Red Cross spokeswoman Lourdes Masing said Betty damaged 25,548 houses, leaving 153,288 people homeless. She said more than 450,000 other people lost their source of income and were temporarily being assisted by relief agencies.
President Corazon Aquino Saturday declared an emergency in 14 provinces devastated by Betty, which was downgraded to a tropical storm as it hit Vietnam Sunday.