At least 28 people have been confirmed dead while 12 others remain missing on Friday after Typhoon Phanfone battered several central Philippine islands on Christmas Day, forcing at least once province to declare a state of calamity.
According to news reports, most of the fatalities were from the province of Iloilo, where at least 13 people were reported killed. The other fatalities were from the several other provinces also hit by Phanfone.
Authorities on Friday confirmed 28 people had died, up from 16 on Thursday, as information came in from badly hit areas where internet and mobile phone networks had been cut.
“The likelihood is present that the casualty count will still increase. We’re hoping against it,” national disaster agency spokesman Mark Timbal told AFP news agency.
He said at least 12 people were still listed as missing.
Most of the deaths reported by police and local officials were due to drowning, falling trees and accidental electrocution.
The province of Leyte, which was the first to bear the brunt of the typhoon, declared a state of calamity and reported damage to fisheries, livestock and crops worth close to $1m.