Philippines' Typhoon Koppu leaves 16 dead

Typhoon Koppu hit Philippines leaving at least 16 people dead as trees, power lines and walls were toppled and flood waters spread far from riverbeds

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Heavy rain and floods have affected dozens of villages in the northern Philippines killing at least 16 people and forcing many to evacuate.

Typhoon Koppu tore through the main island of Luzon on Sunday leaving several remote towns and villages isolated due to flash floods and toppled trees and boulders blocking roads.

While at least sixteen people died and many injured, officials fear the death toll may increase.

Koppu has now been downgraded from typhoon category 4 to 1 to a severe tropical storm by the Japanese meteorological agency, but the Philippines' own weather agency is still characterising the disaster as a typhoon.

A vice mayor of the province reported, "We haven't reached many areas. About 60 to 70 percent of our town is flooded, some as deep as 3 metres. There are about 20,000 residents in isolated areas that need food and water."

As water came from mountains, villages far from rivers in Nueva Ecija were also flooded.

A village councillor said, "We were not expecting this. Flood waters suddenly swelled around us so we evacuated to higher ground."

"We're seven kilometres away from the river but we were still inundated," he added.

The disaster agency figures show 183,000 people had been evacuated from low-lying and landslide-prone areas and brought to shelters and about 6,000 people were stranded in various ports across the main Luzon island.

Philippines, familiar with typhoons and tropical storms, is struck by nearly 20 typhoons every year.

Typhoon Haiyan, in 2013, caused serious destruction and left more than 7,300 people dead or missing.

TRTWorld and agencies