Philippine storm death toll rises to six

Philippine storm death toll rises to six
Residents stand on bridge overlooking homes submerged in floodwaters during heavy flooding brought by tropical storm Jnagmi in Misamis Oriental, on Mindanao.

MANILA - Six people have been killed in two days of heavy flooding as tropical storm Jangmi crossed the central Philippines on Tuesday, with water in some areas "neck deep", officials said.

Jangmi, which was forecast to bring up to 15 millimetres of rain per hour, barrelled through fishing and tourist areas in the island provinces of Bohol and Cebu on Tuesday, with about 1,700 people being evacuated ahead of its arrival.

An eight-year-old girl drowned after raging floodwaters washed away her family's shanty home in the coastal town of Ronda in Cebu province, regional civil defence officer Allen Cabaron told AFP, adding that six of the girl's housemates are missing.

Two teenage boys died from electrocution while wading through floodwaters in Loon in Bohol province, he said.

Rivers burst their banks, covering roads and highways in knee-deep floods that washed out bridges and stalled vehicles, Cabaron said, adding that floods in some areas were "neck-deep".

The deluge was expected to subside in Cebu and Bohol later Tuesday, but flooding was possible on Negros island further west, which is in the storm's path, he said.

On Monday, at least three people were killed after Jangmi, known locally as Seniang, slammed into the country's mountainous southeastern region, triggering floods and landslides.

Up to 14,000 people evacuated in Surigao del Sur, where Jangmi first hit on Monday, will be sent home on Tuesday as floodwaters recede, Governor Johnny Pimentel told AFP.

Ten flights to and from the affected areas on Tuesday were cancelled, the Manila airport authority said in a statement.

Jangmi will be out of the central region after midnight Wednesday before brushing the southern tip of Palawan island on its way out of the country on Thursday, according to the state-run weather bureau.

The country is battered by about 20 storms every year, many of them deadly.

This month Super Typhoon Hagupit left 18 people dead after it lashed central provinces with 210km per hour winds.

Last year Super Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest ever to hit land, left 7,350 people dead or missing in the same region as it stirred up tsunami-like waves, wiping out entire towns.

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