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Typhoon Koppu Leaves 17 Dead in Philippines


A resident uses an inflated inner tube to bring a pig to safety in floodwaters brought about by Typhoon Koppu at Zaragosa township, Nueva Ecija province, north of Manila, Philippines Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

A resident uses an inflated inner tube to bring a pig to safety in floodwaters brought about by Typhoon Koppu at Zaragosa township, Nueva Ecija province, north of Manila, Philippines Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)


Typhoon Koppu was downgraded Monday to a tropical storm, but killed at least 17 people and submerged entire towns in northwestern Philippines.

Luzon, the country’s largest island, received 15 days of rain in one day.

A 650-kilometer-wide storm cloud blanketed the region and produced 150-kilometer per hour winds.

Floodwaters from the Pampanga River in central Luzon's Nueva Ecija province reached rooftops. Rice fields are completely submerged. Some crops and farmland may be 100-percent damaged.

Floodwaters are receding from some towns but in Cabiao, the water is still rising.

Some areas are starting to see better weather, but at least 100 roads and bridges were damaged by landslides, flooding or fallen trees.

Over 70-thousand people are staying in shelters and close to 300-thousand people are affected by the storm.

On Monday, 16 flights were grounded and more than 5,000 ferry passengers were stranded at piers.

Five provinces are without power.

Better weather is coming, but the Philippines must begin recovering from the huge storm.

The government is trying to send aid to several towns cut off by landslides.

Koppu is the 12th storm this year to strike the Philippines. That country gets an average of 20 storms and typhoons each year.

In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most ferocious storms on record to reach land, leveled entire towns. More than 7,300 people died or were missing.

I'm Jill Robbins.

I'm Dustin Reynolds.

Simone Orendain reported on this story for VOANews.com. Dan Friedell adapted this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

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Words in This Story

typhoon – n. an extremely large, powerful, and destructive storm that occurs especially in the region of the Philippines or the China Sea

blanket – v. to cover (something)

submerge – v. to make (someone or something) go under the surface of water or some other liquid : to cover (someone or something) with a liquid

landslide – n. a large mass of rocks and earth that suddenly and quickly moves down the side of a mountain or hill

ferry – n. a boat that is used to carry people and things for a short distance between two places

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