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1 day after typhoon, 2nd nears Philippines

MANILA -- Forecasters sounded alarms over a new storm headed for the Philippines yesterday, even as workers repaired sea walls demolished by a typhoon that killed 21 people and left scores stranded in swamped communities.

Typhoon Nesat also left 35 people missing and brought some of downtown Manila's worst flooding in decades before blowing out of the northern Philippines early yesterday toward southern China with winds of 75 mph.

Floodwaters were receding in most places, but many low-lying communities in the north remained in crisis.

Mayor Santiago Austria of the rice-farming town of Jaen in Nueva Ecija province appealed to the government for help, saying many people in his community of 63,000 needed to be rescued but that officials there had only four rescue boats.

"Many people here are still on top of their houses. We don't have enough boats to reach them and hand them food," Austria said.

Civil Defense Office chief Benito Ramos said army troops were on their way to assist Jaen.

In all, 320,000 people were affected by the storm, with 73,000 in evacuation centers and about 100 still stranded, officials said.

A new tropical storm was brewing in the Pacific, government forecaster Bobby Javier said. It had sustained winds of 52 mph and gusts up to 62 mph and was expected to strengthen significantly before arriving in the next few days. -- AP

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