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Death toll rises after Typhoon Phanfone hits Philippines



Typhoon Phanfone has killed at least 28 people in central Philippines on Christmas Day and left 12 missing, while thousands have been forced to flee their homes.

The locally known as Typhoon Ursula ravaged three provinces, as it fist made landfall on Eastern Samar province on Tuesday and continued to sweep west across the Eastern Visayas region, southern Luzon and Western Visayas the next day.

The typhoon tore roofs off houses and destroyed water and power lines, and led to severe floodings and landslides in many cities, according to the government’s office of civil defence.

Flights and ferries were canceled, leaving behind thousands travelling on their way home, while many major roads remain impassable and internet and mobile networks are cut in badly damaged areas.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), a total of 58,400 people were pre-emptively evacuated ahead of the typhoon, forced to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in temporary evacuation shelters at school gymnasiums and bus terminals.

“Ursula”, that touched gusts of 95 kilometres per hour, was reported to be easing in strength on Thursday, as it moved over the western Philippines toward the South China Sea .

“I join in the pain that affected the dear people of the Philippines because of the Typhoon Phanfone. I pray for the numerous victims, for the injured and for their families,” said Pope Francis.

Rescue operations in flooded communities are still taking place, while the death toll is constantly rising.

Philippines are struck by more than 20 typhoons annually with Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 being the deadliest, leaving more than 6,000 victims behind. Typhoon Kammuri hit Philippines just three weeks ago, killing at least 17 people, as it ripped the capital Manila and neighbour areas.



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More than a dozen killed as Typhoon Kammuri exits the Philippines | News


The death toll from Typhoon Kammuri that hit provinces south of the Philippine capital rose to 13, government authorities said on Wednesday, as the storm left the country.

Kammuri, the 20th to hit the country this year, crossed the coast on Monday night, forcing hundreds of thousands of residents to evacuate and the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

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It also disrupted some events in the Southeast Asian Games, which the Philippines is hosting until December 11.

Five people died in the central Bicol region, including three who drowned, a local disaster agency said. One the the five victims was reportedly electrocuted, while three drowned.




Typhoon Kammuri slams into Philippines, killing at least 2

Five more were killed in a region just south of Manila, including three people who were pinned down when the storm knocked down trees.

Three other people were killed in two provinces in the north and central Philippines, according to local news reports.

Around 345,000 people are still in evacuation centres, awaiting authorities’ clearance for them to return home, disaster agency spokesman Mark Timbal told broadcaster ANC.

“The storm left the usual damage of major storms such as fallen trees, ruined roofs of houses and some government facilities,” Timbal said. Officials said forced evacuations and preparations prevented greater loss of life.

Sustained winds of Kammuri weakened to 100km per hour (67 miles per hour), with gusts of up to 125km per hour (78 mph) as it headed towards the South China Sea.

The storm is set to leave the Philippines on Wednesday night, the state weather bureau said.

An average of 20 typhoons annually hit the Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands.


SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies





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