'Vinta' death toll climbs to 30: officials

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 23 2017 11:02 AM | Updated as of Dec 23 2017 02:32 PM

Severe flooding hit Maranding town in Lanao del Norte following heavy rains brought by Tropical Storm Vinta, which made landfall in Mindanao before dawn Friday. ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The death toll from a tropical storm that struck southern Philippines has risen to 30, officials said Saturday.

Nineteen deaths were reported near the town of Tubod, Lanao del Norte in Mindanao, the archipelago nation's second-largest island, where Tropical Storm Vinta (international name: Tembin) unleashed flash floods and mudslides that devastated one village on Friday, a regional police report said.

Four others were killed in nearby towns and cities, police said, while at least seven people perished in Lanao del Sur province according to civil defense officials there.

Four people were listed as missing after being buried in landslides or being swept away by floodwaters, while more than 12,000 have fled their homes.

The Philippines is pummeled by 20 major storms each year on average, many of them deadly. But Mindanao, home to 20 million, is rarely hit by these cyclones.

After slicing across Mindanao on Friday, Vinta sped west over the Sulu Sea with gusts of 95 kms an hour.

It was forecast to smash into the tip of the western island of Palawan late Saturday, state weather bureau Pagasa said.

Vinta struck less than a week after Tropical Storm Urduja (international name: Kai-Tak) devastated central Philippines, leaving 54 dead and 24 missing.