Typhoon Phanfone toll reaches 28 in Philippines
Manila: Typhoon Phanfone has left at least 28 people dead in the Philippines, with two injured and 12 missing, authorities said on Friday.
The storm, locally named Ursula, on Wednesday and Thursday made its way through the central region of the country with strong rains and gusts of wind up to 195 kph, reports Efe news.
The eye of the typhoon on Tuesday had moved outside of the archipelago, and as of Friday morning it was around 335 km west of Subic municipality in Zambales province, northwest of Manila, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said in its latest report.
It was moving 10 kph in a northwest direction, carrying lowered maximum sustained winds of 120 kph and gusts up to 150 kph.
Nineteen of the deaths and two people who suffered injuries occurred on the island of Panay, in the Western Visayas region, with one death on Cebu and eight on Leyte, Biliran and Samar islands.
The typhoon also caused heavy rains and floods on its way to the northwest of the archipelago.
On Tuesday, 34 boat passengers remained stranded, the NDRRMC said.
Phanfone destroyed boats and houses, caused floods, forced some 39,000 people to return to temporary shelters and left nearly 90 municipalities without electricity.
Damages and losses reported, mostly in the Visayas, were so far valued by the Department of Agriculture at $11.2 million, affecting over 43,000 farmers and fishers, while more than 4,6000 hectares of rice, corn and cassava were damaged.
The damages to fisheries, including fishponds, cages, seaweed, boats, rafts and boundary markers, account for just under $11.2 million.
The typhoon also damaged over 60,000 hectares of crops, such as rice, coconut and corn, in the Visayas, the costs of which are still being evaluated.
Between 15 and 20 typhoons make landfall in the Philippines every year during the rainy season, which begins around the months of May and June and usually ends between November and December.
In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan – with gusts of winds up to 235 kph – killed more than 6,300 people, leaving over 1,000 missing.