Typhoon Parma is located approximately 370 miles (595 kilometers) east-southeast of Hong Kong and has remained stationary over the last six hours, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). Parma is currently a tropical storm with sustained winds of around 63 mph (102 kmph). Current forecasts suggest Parma will hover in the Bashi Channel, which separates Taiwan and the Philippines, for the next few days, bringing heavy rain to both islands.
Earlier, Parma made landfall as a Category 1 typhoon in the northeastern Philippine province of Cagayan at around 07:00 UTC (15:00 local time) on October 3, 2009 with sustained winds of around 90 mph (145 kmph), the JTWC said. The typhoon brought powerful winds and heavy rain to large areas of northern Luzon, killing at least 17 people and causing property damage and flooding. The heavy rainfall (reportedly exceeding 16 inches in some places) also triggered landslides and officials said 12 people were killed in Benguet Province when two separate landslides buried homes. Five people were killed elsewhere.
Thousands of households lost power in northern regions of Luzon, while roads were submerged or littered with fallen trees and toppled power lines. Reports said towns and villages suffered major wind and flood damage in Cagayan Province. Power cuts were reported in the province and the powerful winds caused extensive damage to buildings. Officials in Tuguegarao City, the capital of Cagayan province with a population of around 130,000 people, said homes were badly damaged by the powerful winds and several trees were downed. Damage was also reported in the neighboring province of Isabela, where two people were killed and the swollen Cagayan River rose to swamp two bridges. Elsewhere, the governor of Aurora Province said swathes of rice fields were under water, and warned the damage could lead to supply problems in the coming months. The Philippine Agriculture Department said more than 20,000 tons of rice, worth around 405 million pesos (USD8.6 million), were destroyed in northern Philippines.
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Around 170,000 residents were evacuated from their homes prior to Parma making landfall in the Philippines, amid warnings of a potential disaster. However, as the storm made landfall in the sparsely populated province of Cagayan, authorities expressed relief that more central regions still recovering from Tropical Storm Ketsana were not severely hit. Ketsana triggered devastating floods in central Luzon in late September, affecting around 3 million people and forcing 675,000 people to evacuate their homes.
Forecasters said Parma is expected to generally remain stationary over the next few days in an area around 60 miles (100 kilometers) off the Philippine northwestern coast. They added heavy rain is expected to continue to fall in the Philippines for the next few days and the storm was close enough to Taiwan to cause heavy rain on the island. More than 6,500 people have been evacuated in Taiwan as officials are concerned the heavy rainfall could total 60 inches (1,500 millimeters) and cause severe flooding.
Sources: Joint Typhoon Warning Center, WSI, Agence France Presse, Reuters News, BBC News, CNN News, Associated Press
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