2 dead in Philippine tropical depression

MANILA • Two people were killed and thousands fled strong winds and floods as a tropical depression hit the central Philippines, following deadly back-to-back storms during the Christmas season.

The deaths were reported on Cebu island, where a woman was killed in a landslide while a man died after he hit his head on the pavement as the storm cut off electricity in the area yesterday.

Tropical Storm Kai-Tak killed 47 people in the central Philippines last month, while Tropical Storm Tembin killed 240 on the southern island of Mindanao.

The state weather service warned the new disturbance was poised to hit the western tourist island of Palawan, with gusts of 65km per hour, later yesterday.

"The residents are really sad. It is tough that we have three storms coming one after another. People have lost their livelihoods and have had no rest since Christmas," Mr Gil Acosta, information officer of the island, said.

Palawan accounted for 37 of the recorded Tembin deaths, with 60 other people still missing, Mr Acosta added.

About 4,000 people across the central Philippines have moved to safer ground to escape high winds and flooding, the national disaster agency in Manila said.

The Philippines is battered by 20 major storms each year on average, many of them deadly.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 03, 2018, with the headline '2 dead in Philippine tropical depression'. Print Edition | Subscribe