The death toll from the monster Typhoon Kammuri that hit provinces south of the Philippine capital Manila rose to 10 with many missing, disaster agencies said on Wednesday, pointing to precautions and compulsory evacuations as key in preventing more casualties. Winds gusting up to 200 kph (124 mph) damaged homes and structures and tore down trees and signage as it barreled through central islands south of the capital
Typhoon Kammuri, the 20th to enter the Philippines this year, hit land on Monday night, prompting a forced evacuation of thousands of residents and cancellation of hundreds of flights. It also disrupted the schedule for some events in the Southeast Asian Games, which the Philippines is hosting until Dec. 11. Five people died in the central Bicol region, including three who drowned, a local disaster agency said in a report. Five more were killed in a region south of the capital. Around 350,000 people are still in evacuation centres, awaiting authorities' clearance for them to return home, disaster agency spokesman Mark Timbal told broadcaster ANC."The storm left the usual damage of major storms such as fallen trees, ruined roofs of houses and some government facilities," Timbal said.
Typhoon Kammuri, known locally as Tisoy. Credit Earthwindmap
Officials said forced evacuations and preparations prevented greater loss of life. Sustained winds of Kammuri weakened to 100 kilometres per hour (67 miles per hour), with gusts of up to 125 kph (78 mph) as it heads south toward the South China Sea. It is set to leave the Philippines on Wednesday night, the state weather bureau said. An average of 20 typhoons annually hit the Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands.