Philippines brace for second typhoon

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MARCO WERMAN: Disaster also struck the Philippines this week, in the form of a typhoon. Typhoon Ketsana caused unprecedented flooding in the capital Manila. It took the lives of over 200 people and left thousands homeless. Now another storm -- dubbed a super-typhoon -- is heading straight for the northern Philippines. President Gloria Arroyo of the Philippines today declared a national "state of calamity." Glen Marboloc works for the relief group, Oxfam, in Manila and is helping prepare for the arrival of Typhoon Parma. What's it like there right now? Are people anxious?

GLEN MARBOLOC: They are. In fact, earlier this evening, people were rushing to their homes, because Manila was put on Signal Number One in anticipation of the super-typhoon hitting its tail end by early Sunday morning.

WERMAN: And what distinguishes a super-typhoon from a typhoon?

MARBOLOC: It's not on a scientific basis. People have dubbed it super-typhoon because it seems like it's going to affect a lot of people and be very strong. So they dubbed it a super-typhoon.

WERMAN: And what does Signal Number One mean? Is that a kind of an alarm system?

MARBOLOC: It's based on the tail wind measurement, so that Signal Number Three and Four signifies a very strong tail wind. And this one characterizing the tail wind that approaches northern [PH] Lesoin, which is 10 to 15 hours from the metro Manila.

WERMAN: And is it expected that that tail wind is going to increase in speed?

MARBOLOC: What is happening now is the super-typhoon is decreasing in speed. Because that's happening, it will increase the rainfall in northern [PH] Lesoin, which is actually more dangerous.

WERMAN: Now, the government in the Philippines is forcibly evacuating hundreds of thousands of people. Where are those evacuations taking place, and how are they progressing?

MARBOLOC: The evacuation is taking place in [PH] northern Lesoin. Some families live on the coastal areas, and some refuse to evacuate because they're going to be leaving the only properties they have in life. So they are very stubborn evacuees. But the government has realized and learned its lesson from the previous typhoon earlier this week, and so has ordered forced evacuation. In fact, the forced evacuation itself is being carried out in certain parts of metro Manila in anticipation of the super-typhoon hitting Manila by early morning of Sunday.

WERMAN: Have the people of Manila ever had anything like this before, do they know what to expect?

MARBOLOC: Actually, no. This kind of flooding that was caused by rainfall has never been experienced by Manila in 80 to 100 years.

WERMAN: And Miss Marboloc, how worried are you personally?

MARBOLOC: Personally, I'm not as worried about it. Because they're projecting the super-typhoon to cross over to northern [PH] Lesoin without affecting a lot of rainfall on Manila. So, I'm optimistic that we might not get hit. If we do, people are more prepared for it. We have provisions in the houses, we know which numbers to call, so we are more optimistic about how to deal with the disaster that may happen.

WERMAN: Glen Marboloc from Oxfam, in Manila. Thank you very much, and the best of luck to you in the next 24 hours.

MARBOLOC: Thank you very much.