2 dead, thousands flee in storm-weary Philippines

2 dead, thousands flee in storm-weary Philippines

Philippine storm Kai Tak
This handout photo released on December 18, 2017 by Philippine National Police Regional Office VIII (PNP-8) via their Facebook account shows rescuers carrying a body bag containing the body of a resident killed by a landslide following heavy rains triggered by Tropical Storm Kai-Tak in the town of Naval in the central Philippine province of Biliran. (Photo: AFP/Handout/Philippine National Police Regional Office VIII) 

MANILA: Two people were killed and thousands fled strong winds and floods as a tropical depression hit the central Philippines on Tuesday (Jan 2), following deadly back-to-back storms during the Christmas season.

The deaths were reported on Cebu island, where an elderly woman was killed in a landslide while a man died after he hit his head on the pavement as the storm cut off electricity in the area.

Tropical Storm Kai-Tak killed 47 people in the central Philippines last month, while Tropical Storm Tembin killed 240 on the southern island of Mindanao.

The state weather service warned the new disturbance was poised to hit the western tourist island of Palawan with gusts of 65 kilometres (40 miles) per hour later on Tuesday.

"The residents are really sad. It is tough that we have three storms coming one after another. People have lost their livelihood and have had no rest since Christmas," Gil Acosta, information officer of the island, told AFP.

Palawan accounted for 37 of the recorded Tembin deaths, with 60 other people still missing, Acosta added.

About 4,000 people across the central Philippines had moved to safer ground to escape high winds and flooding, the national disaster agency in Manila said.

"There is continuous flooding in some towns where the floodwater from the previous storm has yet to subside," provincial disaster information officer Julius Regner told AFP by telephone from Cebu City.

The Philippines is battered by 20 major storms each year on average, many of them deadly.