Typhoon Phanfone: 28 deaths, 12 missing after Christmas storm batters central Philippines
Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) confirmed 28 deaths, and said 12 people remain missing in Philippines due to Typhoon Phanfone
Manila: The number of people confirmed dead since Typhoon Phanfone hit Philippines on Christmas Eve has risen to 28, as thousands of people affected by the storm remain in temporary evacuation shelters, authorities said on December 27.
Phanfone, known locally as Typhoon Ursula, first made landfall on Eastern Samar province on December 24, bringing heavy rain and storm surges. It hit as the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane, packing sustained wind speeds of 150 kilometers (93 miles) per hour, with gusts of 195 kph (121 mph), CNN reported.
In addition to the 28 deaths, 12 people remain missing and two injured, according to the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
More than 1,85,000 people have been affected by the typhoon with over 43,000 taking refuge in evacuation centres, the NDRRMC said December 27.
Phanfone swept west across the islands of Eastern Visayas region, southern Luzon and Western Visayas on Wednesday, toppling electricity pylons and trees, tearing off roofs, damaging more than 2,000 homes and causing widespread travel disruption over the busy Christmas period.
The region is dominated by Catholics, and many people were preparing for family celebrations when the typhoon hit. The nearby Kalibo International Airport was temporarily closed and flights were cancelled after the typhoon damaged the roof of the terminal building, according to an advisory from Philippine Airlines.
Thousands of people who were travelling over the Christmas period had their flights and ferries cancelled due to the typhoon. Around 115 domestic flights were cancelled and more than 15,700 passengers left stranded, the NDRRMC had said earlier.
The Philippines gets hit by more typhoons than any other country, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).