The death toll from a powerful typhoon that cut across the northern Philippines rose to at least 28 with dozens of people missing in floods and landslides as schools and offices in Manila remained closed for a second day Friday.
The Office of Civil Defense and local officials reported at least 28 people were killed on Thursday, mostly from drowning, landslides and in accidents involving fallen trees and billboards as Typhoon Xangsane sliced through the central Bicol region and Manila with fierce winds and pounding rains.
Among dozens of missing were at least 30 people in General Trias town, about 25 miles south of Manila, where an irrigation dike collapsed as they were watching houses washed away by raging river waters, said Walter Martinez, a local village official.
Police officer Quintin Trinidad said only one body has been recovered.
Other fatalities included a drunken man who fell into a river in central Antique province, a driver pinned under the steel frames of a giant billboard that fell on his van in Manila’s financial district of Makati, and a man hit by a falling tree in Albay province southeast of Manila, officials said.
Among the dead in Laguna province south of Manila were a mother and daughter whose house was swept away by a mudslide, said Romeo Panisales, a Social Welfare official. At least 20 others were missing in the province, which was in the direct path of the typhoon, he said.
There were fears the toll could still climb as reports from outlying provinces were trickling in Friday.
The entire northern island of Luzon was left without power on Thursday but electricity was restored to 36 percent of consumers by Friday morning, the state-run National Transmission Corp. reported.
The typhoon was briefly downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved toward the South China Sea heading to Vietnam, but gained strength again Friday, packing winds of 75 miles per hour and gusts of up to 93 mph, the Philippine weather bureau reported.
Chinese state media said Friday the typhoon was likely to skirt Hainan, bringing strong winds and heavy rain to the island during the first few days of a weeklong national holiday.
In Manila and neighboring provinces, residents began the day by cleaning up toppled trees, broken branches, fallen sign posts and power pylons.
Financial markets, schools and government offices in Manila remained closed for a second day.
Xangsane, the Laotian word for elephant, is the 10th typhoon this season, and the strongest to hit Manila in 11 years.