Typhoon Kammuri has left at least 17 people dead and displaced nearly half a million in the Philippines, police and disaster relief officials said yesterday.
More than 6,500 houses and an airport were among the buildings damaged by Kammuri’s ferocious winds, which blew off rooftops and shattered windows.
Some houses made from light wood were demolished.
The dead included four people who drowned in floods and while crossing a swollen river in the eastern provinces of Sorsogon, Camarines Sur and Quezon, and five people who were hit by falling trees or debris in the provinces of Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Leyte and Quezon, police said.
Two men died after suffering heart attacks in Oriental Mindoro and a fisherman was struck by lightning. One person was electrocuted in Camarines Sur, while another died from hypothermia in Quezon. The circumstances of the deaths of 3 other victims in Sorsogon, Marinduque and Oriental Mindoro were still being confirmed, police added.
At least 18 more people were injured, while two were reported missing, police said.
Kammuri weakened into a tropical storm as it moved away from the Philippines, the weather bureau said in its latest bulletin.
The storm was now packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometres per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 115kph.
It was moving west at 15kph and was forecast to be out of the country later or the next day, the bureau added. Kammuri forced 495,408 people to flee their homes in the affected areas, mostly in the eastern region of Bicol and surrounding provinces, the national disaster risk reduction office said.
More than 520 local and international flights were cancelled due to the closure of Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport for 12 hours on Tuesday, affecting more than 150,000 passengers, aviation officials said.
The airport has re-opened and authorities said that they hoped flight operations would be normalised.
School classes remained suspended in some areas, while government offices have resumed operations.
Kammuri, locally called Tisoy, is the 20th cyclone to hit the Philippines this year, according to the weather bureau.
One of the strongest storms in recent memory, Typhoon Haiyan, hit the country in November 2013, killing more than 6,300 people and displacing more than 4mn.
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