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Typhoon kills 20 in Philippines

FLASH floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains dumped by a typhoon have killed 20 people and left three missing in the Philippines, the country's disaster agency said yesterday.

The weather bureau also said Typhoon Kujira was centered off the coast of the southeastern province of Catanduanes in Luzon island and was slowly moving to the northeast, with maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometer per hour near the center.

Among the dead are a 2-month-old girl whose house collapsed and a 1-year-old girl who died of injuries from a landslide.

Thousands of residents were evacuated to schools and government offices at the weekend. The central province of Albay, about 550 kilometer from the capital Manila, declared a state of calamity at the weekend.

Officials pegged the damage to infrastructure and agriculture caused by the typhoon at 148.77 million pesos (US$3.1 million).

Most of the farm damage was to rice and corn crops.

Landslides and flash floods are common across the Philippines during the monsoon months from May to November. But weather officials said they were surprised with the high rainfall levels in the summer months of March and April.

The Philippines is usually hit by an average of about 20 typhoons a year.


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