At least 10 people have been reported
dead in the Philippines after Typhoon Phanfone hit the center of the country,
leaving a trail of devastation through.
The storm, also known as Ursula, carried
gusts of close to 118 mph and made landfall several times across various
islands, officials say.
Tens of thousands of people were
left stranded in ports as they tried to make their way home for Christmas.
Phanfone struck close to regions devastated
by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
More than 6,000 people were killed
in November 2013, making it the Philippines’ deadliest storm. With winds of
more than 193mph, it was the most powerful storm to ever make landfall.
Phanfone first made landfall on
Christmas Eve, but continued to pass over the many islands of the central
Philippines throughout Christmas Day. However, the extent of the damage began
to emerge only on December 26.
Local media say at least 10 people
have died – including a three-year-old boy – with most deaths occurring in
Iloilo and Capiz provinces.
AFP quotes officials as saying that
at least 16 people died.
One family was killed when they were swept away by a flash flood as they
attempted to get to higher ground, the Philippine ABS-CBN network reported. It
added that at least 12 people were missing in Iloilo province alone.
The popular tourist island of Boracay appears to have suffered damage,
although the extent is unclear.
In the city of Tacloban, a large fire broke out as the winds rose, but the
city escaped the worst of the damage.
Tacloban suffered enormous damage during Typhoon Haiyan when a storm surge
pushed water into the low-lying city of more than 220,000 people.
On December 26, typhoon Phanfone headed out towards the South China Sea.
More than 40,000 people have been moved into shelter as powerful Typhoon Bopha hits Mindanao island, southern Philippines.
Typhoon Bopha made landfall on Mindanao early on Tuesday, bringing heavy rain and wind gusts of 210 km/h (130 mph).
At least four people died in the storm, which caused power cuts, travel disruption and flooding in areas at risk of landslides.
Bopha comes a year after Typhoon Washi killed more than 1,500 people in the southern Philippines.
On Monday, President Benigno Aquino urged people in the typhoon’s path to take Typhoon Bopha seriously.
“It could be the strongest to hit the country this year,” he said.
“But we can minimize the damage and loss of lives if we help each other.”
More than 40,000 people have been moved into shelter as powerful Typhoon Bopha hits Mindanao island, southern Philippines
In the gold-mining province of Compostela Valley, the extreme weather forced a wall of mud to fall on to a house, killing some of those inside, the Associated Press reports.
Benito Ramos, of the national disaster agency, said the death toll was expected to rise once soldiers and police gained access to the far-flung villages isolated by floods, fallen trees and damaged communications.
According to one report, quoting a military spokesman, about 20 people including six soldiers were missing after fast-moving water swept through an army base.
The eye of the 600-km wide storm was moving west at 26 km/h and was expected to sweep over southern and central provinces before reaching the South China Sea on Thursday, forecasters said.
The Philippines is struck by several typhoons and tropical storms every year.
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