The death toll left by Typhoon Phanfone, which sliced through the central Philippines on Christmas Day, has reached 28 and may still climb, officials said Friday.
Disaster officials said that of the total figure thus far, four were recorded in the province of Capiz; two in Aklan province; 13 in Iloilo; one in Southern Leyte; one in Cebu; two in Leyte; one in Biliran; three in Eastern Samar; and one in Western Samar.
Mark Cashean Timbal, spokesman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said that most of the deaths were due to drowning, electrocution or trauma from fallen debris. Twelve more people were reported missing while 45,000 families were displaced and staying in evacuation centers, he said.
“There are ongoing rescue operations for those residents trapped in their homes due to flooding. We have deployed our damage assessors to find out the extent of destruction,” Timbal said.
Packing maximum sustained winds of 195 kph (120 mph), the typhoon, locally known as Ursula, made multiple landfalls after hitting Salcedo town in Eastern Samar province on Christmas Eve, according to the state weather agency.
It also slammed into Tacloban City in Leyte province where Super Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, landed with devastating fury in 2013, leaving over 6,000 people dead.
A number of domestic flights were cancelled while hundreds of passengers at the port in Manila were stranded after ferry services were suspended.
Full story: BenarNews
Nonoy Espina and Mark Navales
Bacolod and Cotabato, Philippines
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