BAGUIO, Philippines (AFP) — At least 25 people were killed and thousands displaced overnight as Typhoon Chan-hom raked the northern Philippines, officials said Friday.
The typhoon blew out into the Philippine Sea off the northeast coast of Luzon island early Friday after unleashing landslides, floods, and power cuts across the north of the country.
Among the worst-hit areas was the mountain town of Kiangan and nearby areas that were devastated by landslides, and the cape of Bolinao on the South China Sea coast that bore the full force of its landfall late Thursday.
"Bolinao -- well frankly speaking it's devastated," Defence Secretary Gilberto Teodoro told reporters in Manila after a helicopter overflight of the coastal region swamped with floods and littered with downed pylons.
Chan-hom killed 12 people in Bolinao and nearby towns, where strong winds knocked down houses, trees and electric posts, he added.
In the Cordillera mountain region northeast of Bolinao, a total of 12 villagers in four areas were crushed to death by large boulders that rolled down slopes in Kiangan and two other nearby towns on Thursday night, Olive Luces of the local civil defence office told AFP here.
The rocks hit homes and a truck, the driver and his helper of which was among those killed, she added.
Five people were injured, while one other elderly resident was missing from one of the landslides, Luces added.
The civil defence office in Manila said a man died of a heart attack in a landslide in Olongapo city, northwest of Manila. The weather disturbance displaced more than 4,000 people, it added.
Power was knocked out in many areas while entire towns in the north remained flooded.
Ferry services between southern Luzon and nearby islands resumed Friday, allowing more than 1,000 passengers stranded overnight Tuesday to leave the ports, the civil defence office said.
Teodoro said an army division of several thousand soldiers has been ordered to help rescue people trapped by floods and clear debris left by the typhoon in Bolinao and nearby areas.
President Gloria Arroyo has ordered food, drinking water, medicines, and temporary housing materials rushed to the affected regions, Teodoro said.
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »