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NEW BATAAN, Philippines (Reuters) - A much-weakened storm was set to make landfall in the Philippines' northwest on Sunday, five days after the year's strongest typhoon killed 540 people and caused crop damage worth about 8 billion pesos ($195.38 million) in the south.

The Philippines weather bureau issued storm alerts for northern provinces on the main island of Luzon as Bopha, with greatly reduced winds at its centre of 55 kph (35 mph), changed course back towards land after heading into the South China Sea.

Typhoon Bopha first hit land on Tuesday with winds stronger than Hurricane Sandy that devastated the U.S. East Coast in October.

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