MANILA -- A state of calamity was declared in a central Philippine town, where Typhoon Ursula (Phanfone) destroyed houses and toppled power lines on Christmas Day, its mayor said Thursday.
The declaration will allow the local government in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro to tap emergency funds and impose a prize freeze on basic goods, said Mayor Romulo Festin.
San Jose was among worst hit towns in the province, along with Magsaysay, Calintaan and Rizal, said Governor Eduardo Gadiano. The typhoon killed 16 people according to an Agence France-Presse count.
Three people were killed during the storm's onslaught in Bulalacao town, said its Mayor Neil Villas.
The entire province's power supply has yet to be restored at 2 p.m.
Ursula sent some 58,400 individuals to evacuation centers in Mimaropa, Bicol, and Central and Eastern Visayas, the disaster agency said.
The country's 21st storm this year also prompted the cancellation of at least 115 domestic flights and sea travel of around 15,786 passengers as of Wednesday 5 p.m., the agency added. -- Report from Dennis Datu, ABS-CBN News