No fewer than 16 people were killed by a typhoon that swept across remote villages and popular tourist areas of the central Philippines on Christmas Day, disaster agency officials said.
Typhoon Phanfone, with winds of 195km (120 miles) an hour, tore roofs off houses and toppled electric posts as it cut across the Philippines on Wednesday, December 25.
With the internet and mobile phone networks still cut off in some badly damaged areas, a full assessment of Phanfone’s damage was not immediately possible on Thursday morning, December 26.
Phanfone also hit Boracay, Coron and other holiday destinations that are famed for their white-sand beaches and popular with foreign tourists.
The airport at Kalibo, which services Boracay, was badly damaged, according to a Korean tourist who was stranded there and provided images to AFP.
“Roads remain blocked, but some efforts have been made to clear away the damage. It’s pretty bad,” Jung Byung Joon said via Instagram messenger.
“Everything within 100 meters of the airport looks broken. There are a lot of frustrated people at the airport as flights have been cancelled.
“Taxis are still running but it’s windy and still raining so no one wants to leave the airport, including me. ”
Though much weaker, Phanfone tracked a similar path as Super Typhoon Haiyan — the country’s deadliest storm on record which left more than 7,300 people dead or missing in 2013.