Sultan sends condolences to Arroyo

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to send a message of condolence to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Republic of the Philippines following the loss of lives and damages resulting from the tropical storm Ketsana.

In the message, His Majesty expressed his deepest condolences to President Gloria Arroyo and to the government and the people of the Republic of the Philippines at this time of bereavement and personal loss to the victims of this disaster.

The toll from floods rose to at least 284 dead or missing Tuesday as bedraggled victims queued up for aid, while Typhoon Ketsana roared into Vietnam, AP reported.

The storm, which struck Manila and surrounding provinces on Saturday, gathered strength across the South China Sea, and claimed at least 32 lives as it made landfall Tuesday in central Vietnam, where 170,000 were evacuated from its path. It was weakening as it headed west into Laos.

Two new storms were brewing in the Pacific and threatened to complicate relief efforts in the Philippines, officials said.

The homes of nearly 1.9 million people in Manila and surrounding areas were inundated in the weekend flooding, the National Disaster Coordinating Council said. Nearly 380,000 people have sought shelter in schools, churches and other evacuation centres. - Borneo Bulletin (30th September 2009)