Killer typhoon threatens Philippines again

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NEW BATAAN, Philippines -- A typhoon that had left the Philippines after killing nearly 600 people and leaving hundreds missing in the south has made a U-turn and is now threatening the country's northwest, officials said Saturday.

The weather bureau raised storm warnings over parts of the main northern island of Luzon after Typhoon Bopha veered northeast. There was a strong possibility the disastrous storm would make a second landfall Sunday, but it might also make a loop and remain in the South China Sea, forecasters said.

In either case, it was moving close to shore and disaster officials warned of heavy rains and winds and possible landslides in the mountainous region.

Another calamity in the north would stretch recovery efforts thin.

Most government resources, including army and police, are currently focused on the south, where Bopha hit Tuesday.

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With many survivors still in shock, soldiers, police and outside volunteers formed most of the teams searching for bodies or signs of life under tons of fallen trees and boulders swept down from steep hills surrounding the worst-hit town of New Bataan, municipal spokesman Marlon Esperanza said.

He said the rocks, mud, tree trunks and other rubble that litter the town have destroyed landmarks, making it doubly difficult to search places where houses once stood. -- AP

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