Typhoon forces banks to close in parts of Visayas, Bicol regions

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A house is engulfed by the storm surge brought about by powerful typhoon Haiyan that hit Legazpi city, Albay province Friday Nov.8, 2013. AP

MANILA,Philippines—Several major banks suspended operations in various parts of the Visayas and Southern Luzon that were badly hit by Supertyphoon Yolanda, the strongest storm to hit the country this year.

“Due to the inclement weather brought about by Typhoon Yolanda and upon advice of provincial governments and local bankers’ associations, branches in affected areas were closed on November 8,” said a statement from Bank of the Philippine Islands’ corporate communication office.

The affected branches were in Bohol, Leyte, Dumaguete, Bais and Cebu in the Visayas, and in Legazpi and Naga in the Bicol region.

China Banking Corp. said operations in 47 of its branches in Cebu, Dumaguete, Tagbilaran, Bacolod, Ormoc, Iloilo, and Bicol, among other areas hit by the typhoon, were also suspended “for the safety of employees and clients in the affected areas.”

In a separate statement, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., owned by taipan George Ty, said operations in branches in Visayas, all of Masbate and other areas in Bicol were also suspended due to the typhoon.

Typhoon Yolanda made landfall early Friday morning in Eastern Samar.

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