- India issues red alert for cyclone Phailin
- Five dead, millions without power as typhoon hits Philippines
- Malala wants to be PM to 'save' Pakistan
NEW DELHI, Oct 12, 2013 (AFP) - India's weather office issued a "red" alert Saturday as a massive cyclone bore down on the east coast, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people.
The weather office, in its "red message", said that the "very severe cyclonic storm Phailin" was moving toward the coast packing gusts as high as 240 kilometres per hour (150 miles per hour).
MANILA, Oct 12, 2013 (AFP) - Typhoon Nari pummelled the northern Philippines early Saturday, ripping roofs off buildings, killing five people and leaving more than two million people without electricity, officials said.
Nari hit the country's east coast around midnight (1600 GMT Friday), toppling trees and pylons and dumping heavy rain as it cut a westward swathe through the farming regions of the main island of Luzon, they said.
"One of the dead was a police officer awaiting deployment for rescue duties. He was buried in a mudslide," National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council spokesman Rey Balido told a news conference in Manila.
Three people were crushed to death by falling trees while another person was electrocuted by a loose power line, Balido added.
The damage blacked out 37 towns and cities across central Luzon, according to a tally by the civil defence office in the region.
Road and utility crews were out clearing roads and restoring power, but it could take up to two days before electricity is restored and major highways are reopened to traffic, Nigel Lontoc, a disaster official for the region, told AFP by telephone.
A total of 2.1 million people live in the areas now without electricity, according to official population figures.
Balido said four people were listed as missing, including a fisherman on the country's east coast who had been sleeping in his boat when the cyclone made landfall.
"Big waves swept the boat out to sea," he added.
Three other fishermen who put to sea elsewhere before the typhoon have also failed to return, Balido said.
About 3,000 people moved into government-run shelters before the typhoon struck amid warnings of flooding and landslides, Lontoc said.
Seventeen villages in Bulacan, a province that lies next to Manila, were under up to 1.2 metres (four feet) of floodwater, he added.
Balido and Lontoc said local officials were tallying the number of damaged homes, many of which had their roofing blown off.
The typhoon spared the capital Manila, where the state weather service had warned on Friday about possible widespread flooding.
No major floods have been reported in the metropolis of more than 12 million people.
After sweeping across the Philippines, Nari blew out to the South China Sea with peak winds of 120 kilometres (75 miles) an hour, the state weather service said.
Projections from the Hong Kong Observatory had the storm gathering pace over the coming days as it heads towards the northeast coast of Vietnam.
The Philippines is hit by about 20 major storms or typhoons each year that occur mainly between June and October.
NEW YORK CITY: Teenage rights activist Malala Yousafzai told an audience in New York that she would like to become prime minister of Pakistan to "save" the country.
In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour at a sold-out public event, she also said winning the Nobel Peace Prize would be a "great honour".
Asked about her conflicting dreams of becoming a doctor or a politician, and whether she would like to become premier, Malala said she wanted to help her homeland.
"I want to become a prime minister of Pakistan," she told Amanpour to cheers from the audience.
"I think it's really good because through politics I can save my whole country," she added.
"I can spend much of the budget on education and I can also concentrate on foreign affairs."
Malala was shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban on Oct 9, 2012, for speaking out against them, demanding that girls have the right to go to school.
She was flown to Britain for specialist care and made a remarkable recovery, going on to become a global ambassador for children's rights.
The 16-year-old has written an autobiography, addressed the United Nations and set up the Malala Fund.
On Thursday, she won the prestigious Sakharov human rights prize from the European parliament and was tipped as a firm favourite for the Nobel Peace Prize.
"If I got the Nobel Peace Prize I think it would be such a great honour and more than I deserve," she said.
"The Nobel Peace Prize would help me to begin this campaign for girls' education."
The real prize, she said, would be to see every child, black or white, Christian or Muslim, boy or girl, go to school and "for that I will struggle and work hard".
She paid tribute to previous Nobel laureates, including scientist Abdus Salam who in 1979 won the prize for physics – Pakistan's only Nobel to date. — AFP
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