MANILA • The death toll from a typhoon that hit provinces south of the Philippine capital rose to 10, disaster agencies said yesterday, pointing to precautions and compulsory evacuations as key in preventing more casualties.
Typhoon Kammuri, the 20th to enter the Philippines this year, hit land on Monday night, prompting the forced evacuation of thousands of residents and the cancellation of hundreds of flights.
It also disrupted the schedule for some events in the SEA Games, which opened in the Philippines last Saturday and runs until Dec 11.
Five people died in central Bicol region, including three who drowned, the local disaster agency said in a report. Five more were killed in a region south of the capital.
Disaster agency spokesman Mark Timbal told broadcaster ANC that about 345,000 people are still in evacuation centres, awaiting the authorities' approval to return home. "The storm left the usual damage of major storms such as fallen trees, and ruined roofs of houses and some government facilities," he said.
Officials said that forced evacuations and preparations prevented greater loss of life.
Sustained winds of Kammuri weakened to 100kmh, with gusts of up to 125kmh as it headed towards the South China Sea. It was set to leave the Philippines last night, the state weather bureau said.
Each year, an average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands.