Corregidor Island, damaged by typhoon

Typhoon "Caloy", the summer storm that spoiled the travel plans of tourists in the Philippines in the second week of May, hurt local tourism and caused damages on one of the country's most famous heritage sites.

The Department of Tourism reported that the typhoon, with the international codename "Chanchu", destroyed facilities at the historic Corregidor, a tiny rocky island situated 48 kilometers west of Manila.

"Corregidor, the island fortress that stands as a memorial for courage, valor and heroism for Filipinos and Americans and one of the premier tourist destinations of the country, succumbed to the thrashing winds and heavy rains brought about by typhoon Caloy," the DOT's Office of Tourism Information said.

The three-mile-long island was the last fortress of the combined forces of the Filipino and American troops defending the Philippines against the invasion of the Japanese imperial army during World War II.

Caloy, which packed winds up to 150 kilometers per hour, crossed Visayas and the southern parts of Luzon over the weekend, leaving a trail of destruction on lives and properties. More than three-dozen people were reported dead as a result of heavy rains and strong winds.

The typhoon has since then moved towards Hong Kong and the southern coast of China where it also caused heavy floods, forcing the evacuation of more than half a million people.

In its initial report and assessment of the damages, the Corregidor Foundation Inc. (CFI), which administers the island, revealed huge damage on pier fender piles and structural posts, breakwater breaches, building roof breakages and uprooted forest trees.

It said that one of the last remaining World War II structures ever created, the Mile-Long Barracks and Middle Side Barracks, sustained extensive damage while the historical edifice suffered collapsed walls and once-standing posts.

The Foundation said it will need all the financial and technical assistance it can get to restore and prevent further degradation of "this remarkable and oft-visited historical landmark and Philippine heritage site."

Typhoon Caloy halted one of the hottest summers in the Philippines, which sent flocks of foreign and local tourists to tropical hideaways like the white-sand beaches of Boracay, Bohol, Cebu, Davao and Palawan. Roderick T. dela Cruz

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