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22 dead as typhoon hits Philippines: govt

world Updated: May 08, 2009 15:55 IST
22 dead as typhoon hits Philippines: govt

At least 22 people were killed and thousands displaced overnight as Typhoon Chan-hom raked the northern Philippines, officials said on Friday.

The typhoon blew out into the Philippine Sea off the northeast coast of Luzon island early on 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 on 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, nine villagers were crushed to death by large boulders that rolled down slopes in Kiangan and nearby towns on Thursday night, Olive Luces of the local civil defence office told AFP in Baguio.

The rocks hit homes and a truck, the driver of which was among those killed, she added.

Five people were injured, while two elderly residents were missing after two houses were buried by another landslide in the neighbouring town of Lagawe, 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 on Friday, allowing more than 1,000 passengers stranded overnight on 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.