18 dead as typhoon Chan-Hom hits Philippines (Lead)

May 8th, 2009 - 5:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Manila, May 8 (DPA) At least 18 people were killed in landslides and other accidents caused by a powerful typhoon that pummelled the northern Philippines, disaster relief officials said Friday.
Six people were also reported missing and 10 injured in landslides in the northern provinces of Ifugao and Zambales, according to the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC).

Ten people were killed in a landslide in Ifugao, while five drowned in the provinces of Bataan, Batangas and Pangasinan, local officials said.

One man succumbed to a heart attack in Olongapo City, while an 84-year-old woman died from a head trauma after being swept away by strong winds in Pangasinan, the NDCC added.

Also in Pangasinan, a 23-year-old man was killed when he was struck by an iron sheet.

Typhoon Chan-Hom slammed into the northern province of Pangasinan late Thursday with maximum winds of 150 km per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 185 kph.

The weather bureau said Chan-Hom has continued to weaken as it moved away from the country. Its maximum winds dropped to 65 kph and gusts of up to 80 kph.

It was expected to be out of the country by Sunday. The bureau has lowered all storm signals in the 30 affected provinces.

Chan-Hom toppled electrical posts, uprooted trees and busted electrical transformers in the northern resort city of Baguio, where five landslides occurred, the NDCC said.

Thousands of passengers were also stranded in various ports in the northern and central Philippines as the coast guard prohibited sea travel amid stormy seas.

Electricity was cut off in a wide area in the affected provinces, the NDCC said.

Chan-Hom struck the Philippines a few days after typhoon Kujira battered eastern provinces, killing 27 people and damaging more than $9 million worth of crops, livestock and fisheries.

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