Typhoon Phanfone Hits Philippines on Christmas Day Killing at Least 10
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.
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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.