One dead as thousands flee Philippine storm

One person drowned while thousands fled their flooded homes as a tropical storm hit the Philippines, causing heavy rains and rough seas that disrupted aviation and shipping, officials said on Tuesday.

Tropical storm Nock-ten also left two fishermen missing while six others were rescued at sea as it approached the main island of Luzon, said government civil defence administrator Benito Ramos.

Classes were called off in Manila and surrounding provinces and at least a dozen local flights were cancelled as the storm, packing 80 kilometres (50 miles) per hour winds, brushed past Bicol, Luzon's southeast tip,unleashing floods there.

"This storm is dangerous, especially for low-lying and flood-prone areas. The winds are not that powerful but the rains are very strong and they will cause our rivers to overflow," Ramos told AFP.

He said his office, the National Disaster and Risk Reduction and Management Council, had advised local officials to order evacuations of areas deemed at risk in the disaster-prone Bicol peninsula.

The governor of Catanduanes island, Joseph Cua, told ABS-CBN television that one person drowned while trying to swim through a river.

Over 70,000 families had also fled their homes in Albay province in Bicol due to the rising waters, said its governor Joey Salceda.

The government weather service said the storm was moving northwest and was expected to continue to bring heavy rains in Manila and nearby areas as it crosses northern Luzon from Wednesday.

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