Death toll in Philippine Typhoon Kammuri rises to 13

Photo: Reuters

The death toll from Typhoon Kammuri that hit provinces south of the Philippine capital rose to 13, officials said on Thursday, as authorities confirmed reports of storm-related deaths.

Kammuri's fierce winds toppled trees and flattened flimsy homes across a swathe of the nation's north on Tuesday, and forced a rare 12-hour shutdown of Manila's international airport.

According to the National Disaster Agency, the storm damaged 135 schools and destroyed nearly 1,200 homes, with crop damage in the hardest hit areas estimated to reach nearly $16 million.

The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons each year, killing hundreds and putting people in disaster-prone areas in a state of constant poverty.

Death toll in Philippine typhoon rises to 10 as storm moves off

The death toll from a typhoon that hit provinces south of the Philippine capital rose to 10, disaster agencies said on Wednesday, pointing to precautions and compulsory evacuations as key in preventing more casualties.

Typhoon Kammuri, the 20th to enter the Philippines this year, hit land on Monday night, prompting forced evacuation of thousands of residents and cancellation of hundreds of flights. It also disrupted the schedule for some events in the Southeast Asian Games, which the Philippines is hosting until Dec. 11.

Five people died in the central Bicol region, including three who drowned, a local disaster agency said in a report. Five more were killed in a region south of the capital.

Around 345,000 people are still in evacuation centers, awaiting authorities’ clearance for them to return home, disaster agency spokesman Mark Timbal told broadcaster ANC.

“The storm left the usual damage of major storms such as fallen trees, ruined roofs of houses and some government facilities,” Timbal said. Officials said forced evacuations and preparations prevented greater loss of life.

Sustained winds of Kammuri weakened to 100 kilometers per hour (67 miles per hour), with gusts of up to 125 kph (78 mph) as it heads toward the South China Sea. It is set to leave the Philippines on Wednesday night, the state weather bureau said.

An average of 20 typhoons annually hit the Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands.

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