At least 20 people killed in storm in Philippines
At least 20 people were killed and nine missing in a tropical storm that triggered floods and landslides in the Philippines, a civil defense official said Wednesday, dpa reported.
More than 500,000 people also fled their homes as two days of heavy rains brought about by Tropical Storm Nock-Ten inundated towns in the eastern region of Bicol, said Benito Ramos, chief of the Office of Civil Defence.
Ramos said 31 people were also injured in accidents brought about by the storm.
Seven fatalities were from the province of Albay, 360 kilometres south-east of Manila, where almost all the towns were under water, according to Governor Joey Salceda.
Five people were buried in a landslide in nearby Camarines Norte province early Wednesday, while eight people died in the provinces of Catanduanes, Cavite, Camarines Sur, Marinduque, Iloilo and Quezon.
Dozens of domestic flights were cancelled and hundreds of passengers were stranded in various ports as the coast guard stopped sea vessels from sailing.
Schools were closed in the capital but the weather bureau said the area would be spared from the "worst of rains."
Nock-Ten, with maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometres per hour and gusts of up to 120 kilometres per hour, made landfall early Wednesday in the north-eastern province of Aurora.
The storm, moving at a speed of 15 kilometres per hour, was expected to cross the northern provinces later in the day and head out to sea by Thursday morning.