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Christmas typhoon kills at least 13 in Philippines

Typhoon Phanfone hit the Philippines late on Tuesday with winds of up to 120km/h and gusts of 150km/h, heavy rain and flooding.

Residents wade through a flooded highway, caused by heavy rains due to Typhoon Phanfone, in Ormoc City, Leyte province in central Philippines on 25 December 2019. Picture: AFP

MANILA - A typhoon that struck the central Philippines over Christmas has killed at least 13 people, disaster agency officials said on Thursday.

Typhoon Phanfone hit the Philippines late on Tuesday with winds of up to 120km/h and gusts of 150km/h, heavy rain and flooding.

More than 58,000 people were evacuated from their homes before the storm, which caused widespread property damage, and more than 15,000 were stranded at ports when ferries were suspended. Scores of flights were cancelled.

The fatalities were in the central provinces of Capiz, Iloilo and Leyte, including a 13-year-old boy who was electrocuted, a man killed by a tree branch and another killed in a car accident, the disaster agency said.

The typhoon left the Philippines on Wednesday night and was out over the South China Sea, moving west.

An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines each year, with storms becoming fiercer in recent years.

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