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Jul 27, 2011

Philippines braces as storm claims 14 lives

MANILA - MILLIONS of people in the Philippines were on Wednesday bracing for a ferocious tropical storm that had already claimed 14 lives and submerged vast tracts of land in more remote parts of the country.

Nock-ten was expected to hit the heavily populated central section of the main Luzon island at 1pm (0500 GMT), then dump heavy rain there for about a day before blowing out into the South China Sea, the state weather service said.

The storm hit the coastal provinces of Albay and Camarines Sur on southern Luzon on Tuesday, forcing 645,000 people to flee their flooded homes, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chief Benito Ramos told AFP.

'Those two provinces are underwater,' he said.

The government is waiting for the skies to clear and the seas to calm down before sending emergency supplies by air and water to those provinces, according to Mr Ramos.

'We can't use the army trucks because the roads are flooded,' he said. -- AFP