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Storm-weary Philippines braces for Typhoon Parma

  • Story Highlights
  • "State of calamity" order imposed by Philippines' president Macapagal-Arroyo
  • Super Typhoon Parma predicted to slam into Philippines Saturday
  • Philippines already reeling from deadly impact of Typhoon Ketsana
  • Storm killed at least 246, affected 2 million, forced evacuation of 567,000
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(CNN) -- Thousands of Filipinos who live near coastlines and mountainous areas were evacuated Friday as the storm-battered country braced for Typhoon Parma, which is expected to make landfall Saturday.

A NASA satellite image shows Typhoon Parma gathering strength over the Pacific.

Filipino children reach for handouts at a flood evacuation center near the capital Manila, September 30

Parma, known locally as Typhoon Pepeng, comes on the heels of a weekend storm that killed hundreds in the Philippines and left most of Manila under water.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo placed the country "under the state of calamity" in preparation for Parma's landfall. She ordered evacuations as a precautionary measure against floods and landslides, and asked weather officials to issue an hourly update. She also urged local governments to implement forced evacuations if need be.

The order focuses on Camarines Norte, Aurora, northern Quezon, Polillo Island, Isabela and Cagayan.

Thousands have been evacuated in Isabela and rescue crews have a "standing order to use force if necessary" to move adults and children, said Paul Fernandez, who is overseeing disaster relief in Isabela. The government is providing the province with relief funds, he said.

Evacuees are being taken to schools and warehouses on higher ground, he said.

Macapagal-Arroyo said disaster-relief crews in vulnerable areas must be equipped with life-saving kits, boats, portable generators and trucks.

Parma had maximum sustained winds of 138 mph (222 km/hr), said Jennifer Delgado, CNN meteorologist. It is likely to move slow with torrential rainfall and strong winds, she said.

Within the next 24 hours, Parma could develop into a super typhoon, the Philippines weather bureau said.

The typhoon tipped back and forth between typhoon and super typhoon status Thursday. Meteorologists consider a super typhoon to be one with sustained winds of about 150 mph (241 km/hr). It is expected to bring heavy rainfall and major property damage to the Philippines on Saturday, Delgado said.

"Landslides and mudslides are a great possibility," she said. The five-day tracking map shows the storm south of Taiwan on Monday.

Tropical Storm Ketsana, which swallowed whole houses and buses over the weekend, killed 246 in the Philippines. It later strengthened into a typhoon. An additional 38 are missing, the National Disaster Coordinating Council said.

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The storm affected nearly 2 million people and forced the evacuation of 567,000.

At one point, 80 percent of the capital, Manila, was under water after experiencing the heaviest rainfall in 40 years. The storm also killed at least 74 people in Vietnam and nine in Cambodia.

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