Philippine storm death toll surges to 68

Residents wade along a flooded street in the town of Bulan Sorsogon province Philippines on Dec 30 2018

Typhoon Mangkhut, the strongest tropical cyclone of the year, wracked the island nation with winds of winds of 200km/h (125 mph) in September.

Usman, a slow-moving storm with winds of up to 55 kilometres an hour, killed at least 61 people as it triggered floods and landslides and forced thousands to flee to safer grounds.

The death toll from a storm that struck the Philippines shortly after Christmas has risen to 68 with the number of fatalities expected to climb even higher.

The weather disturbance that dumped rains in parts of Luzon and the Visayas ahead of the New Year revelry left 3 people dead, authorities said Saturday morning, as several flights were canceled and passengers left stranded in various ports.

At least 16 power stations in Bicol, Western Visayas and Eastern Visayas experienced temporary shutdowns due to stormy weather, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said in a situation report.

The country's deadliest storm on record is Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,350 people dead or missing across the central Philippines in November 2013.

Residents look over their damaged home at the landslide-hit community in Bulan Sorsogon province Philippines on Dec 29 2018

There were five rubber boats and six trucks deployed to the said areas.

However, Yucot said many others made a decision to stay after the government's weather agency downgraded the storm's severity warning.

"I am afraid this (death toll) will still go up because there are a lot of areas we still have to clear", said Claudio Yucot, Bicol civil defence director.

Nearly 12,000 people were also evacuated from their homes in the Bicol region after the low-pressure area hit the eastern side of the country on Saturday.

Dozens of people were killed this weekend as Tropical Depression Usman swept over the central Philippines, triggering landslides and flooding.

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