MANILA - Christmas Typhoon Ursula left at least 7 people dead after it lashed Iloilo with fierce winds and heavy rains, a local disaster official said Thursday.
As of 5 a.m. Thursday, 12 people remain missing in the province, according to provincial disaster office head Jerry Byuna.
Most of the fatalities were from the town of Batad, Byuna said, where a family attempted to get to higher ground during the onslaught of Ursula but was intercepted by flashflood.
"'Yung biglaang pagbuhos ng ulan in a matter of 3 hours, pagbaba ng tubig dun dumaan sa kanila. Hindi 'yun daanan ng tubig normally," he told radio DZMM.
"Maybe as a result of the masyadong makapal na ulap, masyadong malakas na ulan, resulting in flashflood. 'Yung bundok nila dun naging kaingin, nagresult ng flashflood."
A total of 375 families fled their homes due to Ursula, Byuna said.
The country's 21st and possibly last storm this year was last seen over the West Philippine Sea or 155 kilometers northwest of Coron, Palawan at 4 a.m., state meteorologists said.
It is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility on Saturday morning, if it continues moving west northwest at 15 kph, PAGASA said.