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Friday, October 2

Parma ("Pepeng") bears down on Luzon (UPDATED)

Typhoon 'Pepeng' [international name, "Parma"]accelerates as it moves to Cagayan.

The Philippines Star - Updated October 03, 2009 07:56 AM [Philippines time]

MANILA, Philippines -- Typhoon "Pepeng" has accelerated as it continues to move towards Cagayan, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said in its 5 a.m. bulletin.

"Pepeng" has changed its course late last night and was reported to be heading to Cagayan instead of the Isabela-Aurora area as early reported.

Pagasa said as of 4 a.m. today, typhoon "Pepeng" was spotted at 260 kms southeast of Aparri, Cagayan with maximum sustained winds of 175 kph and gustiness of up to 210 kph. It is forecast to move northwest at 17 kph.

The typhoon is expected to make landfall over northern Cagayan this evening.

Cagayan, Babuyan island, Calayan island and Northern Isabela were placed under storm signal no. 3.
More prayers, please.
Update to my post this morning: The typhoon has veered but I don't know whether the new path is better or worse. A correspondent has just informed me that it's headed for northern Luzon (the main island), then onto East Asia. He added, "Bad news."

Canada is already taking in Filipino refugees from the earlier storm. Doctors Without Borders, the International Red Cross, and Christian organizations from just about every denomination are gearing up to pour in fresh aid, but the terror is that parts of Luzon are already flooded from the earlier storm.

And this is the worst time for a huge natural disaster to strike anywhere in the world; aid organizations, both public and private, are stretched very thin because of the economic downturn.

So whatever prayers you know, please say them now. The report this morning said the storm is expected to make landfall shortly before or after the dawn. So news should start coming in within about two hours as to how the storm is breaking on land.
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