Philippines tropical storm toll climbs to 30: officials


Manila (AFP)

The death toll from a tropical storm that struck the southern Philippines has risen to 30, officials said Saturday.

Nineteen deaths were reported near the town of Tubod on Mindanao, the archipelago nation's second-largest island, where Tropical Storm Tembin unleashed flash floods and mudslides that devastated one village on Friday, a regional police report said.

Four others were killed in nearby towns and cities, police said, while seven people perished in Lanao del Sur province according to civil defence officials there.

Four people were listed as missing after being buried in landslides or being swept away by floodwaters, while more than 12,000 have fled their homes.

The Philippines is pummelled by 20 major storms each year on average, many of them deadly, but Mindanao, home to 20 million, is rarely hit by these cyclones.

After slicing across Mindanao on Friday, Tembin sped west over the Sulu Sea with gusts of 95 kilometres an hour.

It was forecast to smash into the tip of the western island of Palawan late Saturday, the state weather service said.

Tembin struck less than a week after Tropical Storm Kai-Tak devasted the central Philippines, leaving 54 dead and 24 missing.