3 killed in Philippines storm

Manila: At least three people were killed and six others went missing after tropical storm Urduja struck the central Philippines, officials said on Saturday.

One child was killed in a flood, an adult died in a landslide and a fisherman was killed in an accident, a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesperson said.

The missing included three fishermen and three people buried under a landslide, Efe news reported.

Of the total 158,166 people affected, 38,846 took shelter in evacuation centres, the NDRRMC said.

The spokesperson warned the people to not underestimate the effects of the storm, which was moving west at a speed of 15 kilometres per hour on Saturday with sustained winds of up to 80 kph and gusts of 110 kph, as it might cause heavy rains.

Forecasts indicated that on Saturday Urduja would lash the island of Samar, the third biggest in the Philippines, situated east of the central Visayas region with a population of 1.7 million.

The authorities also issued alerts for Samar, northern Samar and eastern Samar as well as Biliram, Leyte, Aklan, Northern Iloilo and Capiz, all of them in Visayas and for Albay, Sorsogon and Masbate on the Luzon island.

Around 11,000 passengers were stranded at ports as 1,355 ships and 52 cargo ships cancelled their trips due to the adverse weather condition.

The storm led to power cuts, road blockages, cut-off bridges and widespread flooding in both urban and rural areas.

Fifteen to twenty typhoons hit the Philippine archipelago every year during the rainy season, which normally starts in June and continues until November.