10 killed as Typhoon Phanfone batters central Philippines

Manila: At least 10 people have been killed and six others missing after Typhoon Phanfone battered several central Philippine islands on Christmas Day, before heading out to the South China Sea, state media reported citing local authorities on Thursday.

According to The Philippine Daily Inquirer news website, two people were reportedly killed in Leyte province, while eight others died in the provinces of Iloilo and Capiz.

Thousands of people were forced to be evacuated in several provinces before the typhoon made landfall.

Images posted on social media showed some areas in the provinces of Capiz and Iloilo are underwater.

As of Thursday morning, the Philippine weather agency, PAGASA, said that Phanfone was reported 155 kilometres west of the province of Palawan, with maximum winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour and gustiness of up to 160 kilometres per hour.

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The typhoon brought a wet and miserable season to many who were holidaying in the island nation and stranded thousands as dozens of flights were cancelled.

Local authorities had started evacuating people in risky areas to safer government facilities before the typhoon made landfall on Tuesday afternoon in Eastern Samar province.

The storm left a trail of destruction as it swept across the central Philippines and areas off the southern tip of the main Luzon island. Huge flooding was reported in many affected areas.

The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world mainly due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire and Pacific typhoon belt. Landslides and flash floods are common during the rainy season, especially when a typhoon hits the island country.

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