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Thursday, December 26, 2019, 17:50
Christmas typhoon kills at least 16 in Philippines
By Agencies
Thursday, December 26, 2019, 17:50 By Agencies

Residents walk past a house damaged during Typhoon Phanfone in Tacloban, Leyte province in the central Philippines, on Dec 25, 2019. (BOBBIE ALOTA / AFP)

MANILA - A typhoon that struck the central Philippines over Christmas has killed at least 16 people and left six others missing, disaster agency officials said on Thursday.

Typhoon Phanfone hit the Philippines late on Tuesday with winds of up to 120 kph and gusts of 150 kph, heavy rain and flooding.

This Dec 26, 2019 AFP graphic shows the path of Typhoon Phanfone in the Philippines.

More than 58,000 people were evacuated from their homes before the storm, which caused widespread property damage, and more than 15,000 were stranded at ports when ferries were suspended. Scores of flights were cancelled.

READ MORE: Philippine typhoon ruins Christmas for travellers, evacuees

The fatalities were in the central provinces of Capiz, Iloilo and Leyte, officials said. Thirteen people died in Western Visayas and three others in the eastern part of the island, including a policeman who was electrocuted when his patrol vehicle hit a toppled electric post, regional disaster agencies said. Several roads remained impassable in Samar and Leyte provinces, reports showed.

Motorists wade through a flooded highway, caused by heavy rains due to Typhoon Phanfone, in Ormoc city, Leyte province in central Philippines, on Dec 25, 2019. (RONALD FRANK DEJON / AFP)

The typhoon left the Philippines on Wednesday night and was out over the South China Sea, moving west.

An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines each year, with storms becoming fiercer in recent years.

ALSO READ: Typhoon Kammuri kills 17 people as it passes south of Manila

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