Typhoon Fengshen is being blamed for at least 155 deaths in the Philippines over the weekend, and the death toll is expected to rise as crews search for survivors of a ferry boat that was carrying more than 700 people when it capsized, Reuters reports.
While the storm has lost strength, it is expected to sweep by China and Taiwan in the next two days as a tropical storm, and reach Japan later this week.
Deforestation in the Philippines has been blamed for increasing the intensity of landslides and flooding. Clear-cut land can't absorb water the way forests can, and the earth isn't held in place by roots. The result is massive runoff that makes the nation prone to being hit by hurricanes more vulnerable to their rain and wind.
Hurricanes are called by different names in different parts of the world. In parts of Asia, they are called typhoons. The more general term is tropical cyclone, but all three mean the same thing: an intense tropical storm with fierce winds, lots of rain and the potential to cause significant damage and death.
The Atlantic hurricane season, which typically affects the United States, is just in its early stages. The early predictions for 2008 are for an above-average year filled with frequent storms and several intense hurricanes.
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