Christmas typhoon Ursula kills at least 21

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 27 2019 05:33 AM | Updated as of Dec 27 2019 09:42 AM

This undated handout image received courtesy of Jung Byung-joon on December 26, 2019 shows damage caused by Typhoon Ursula outside Kalibo International Airport in Kalibo, Aklan. Handout / Courtesy of Jung Byung-joon / AFP

MANILA - A typhoon that struck the central Philippines over Christmas has killed at least 21 people, disaster agency officials said Friday.

Typhoon Ursula (international name Phanfone) hit the Philippines late Tuesday with winds of up to 120 kph and gusts of 150 kph, bringing heavy rain and flooding.

More than 58,000 people were evacuated from their homes before the storm, which caused widespread property damage, and more than 15,000 were stranded at ports when ferries were suspended. Scores of flights were cancelled.

Most of the fatalities were reported in Eastern and Western Visayas, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). Two others were injured while 10 people remain missing.

The typhoon affected 185,168 persons and damaged 55 schools, according to NDRRMC.

It also cut power in 147 cities and town in Regions MIMAROPA, VI, VII, and VIII. 

The typhoon left the Philippines on Wednesday night and was out over the South China Sea, moving west.

An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines each year, with storms becoming fiercer in recent years. - with a report from Reuters