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Deadly typhoon hits the Philippines over Christmas

The death toll rose to at least 28 Friday, with at least 12 people missing according to the Philippines' disaster agency.
Credit: Philippine Red Cross

A deadly typhoon hit the central Philippines over the Christmas holiday, with at least 28 reported dead as of Friday and at least 12 still missing, according to disaster agency officials, Reuters reports. Authorities are still trying to restore power, and residents are continuing to try and repair homes. The typhoon came as the predominantly Catholic country saw millions of people heading home to celebrate Christmas with their families. This has been the seventh typhoon to hit the Philippines so far this year. 

The fatalities happened in the central areas of Capiz, Iloilo and Leyte. According to Reuters, a 13 year old boy was electrocuted, another man was killed in a car accident and another was killed by a tree branch.  

Around 20 typhoons hit the multi-island nation every year. Storms have reportedly become more intense in recent years. 

Over 58,000 people had to be evacuated when Typhoon Phanfone, locally known as Typhoon Ursula, hit the Philippines Tuesday, with heavy rain, flooding and winds of up to 75 mph. The storm caused heavy property damage and over 15,000 people were reportedly stranded at ports when ferries had to be suspended, along with large numbers of flight delays. The Associated Press had the number of stranded at over 25,000 for the central region and outlying provinces. 

By Wednesday the storm had departed the Philippines heading out over the South China Sea. 

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