Continued from page 1

Assistant Agriculture Secretary Salvador Salacup said an initial estimate of $36 million losses to rice and corn crops showed the damage was minimal. The Cagayan Valley and Ilocos regions lost around 12 percent of their rice production for the season. Cagayan Valley alone accounts for 30 percent of the national rice output.

Typhoon Megi is likely to spare Vietnam, which was in early forecast paths and has been suffering severe flooding in the past week. At least 41 flood-related deaths have been reported, and 19 other people are presumed dead after a bus was swept off a road by raging currents.

Up to 31.5 inches of rain pounded areas of Vietnam in just a few days, forcing 126,000 people to flee their homes. Earlier flooding this month left more than 80 people dead or missing.

The death toll from recent flooding in Thailand rose to five on Tuesday. Downpours that started over the weekend have affected nearly 55,000 people in 17 central and northeastern provinces, according to the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department.

Associated Press writers Jim Gomez, Teresa Cerojano and Hrvoje Hranjski in Manila; Margie Mason and Tran Van Minh in Hanoi; Scott McDonald in Beijing; and Jocelyn Gecker in Bangkok contributed to this report.