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Deadly typhoon hits the Philippines

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 12/26/19, 09:38 am

Most of the deaths caused by a Christmas typhoon in the Pacific island nation came from drowning, falling trees, and accidental electrocution. Typhoon Phanfone first made landfall on Eastern Samar province late on Christmas Eve. It then raged across seven coastal towns and island provinces on Christmas Day, destroying remote villages, tourist areas, and electrical poles in its wake. At least 28 people are dead and 12 are missing.

How did the storm affect Christmas celebrations? The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic nation. More than 25,000 travelers found themselves stranded in seaports in the central region, and airlines canceled dozens of flights to popular resorts. Several provinces also remained without power. A disaster response officer described the hard-hit coastal town of Batad as a “ghost town.”

Dig deeper: Read my report in The Sift from September on powerful Typhoon Mangkhut that killed at least 69 people across the northern Philippines and in China.

Editor’s note: WORLD has updated this report since its publication.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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