PICS: At least 10 killed by Christmas Day typhoon in Philippines
Manila - At least 10 people were killed in the Philippines in accidents caused by typhoon Phanfone, which battered eastern and central provinces on Christmas Day, officials said Thursday.
Six people were also reported missing in Iloilo province, 463 kilometres south of Manila, one of the areas that bore the brunt of Phanfone's destructive winds and intense rain since December 24, local officials said.
The 10 fatalities were from the provinces of Iloilo, Leyte and Capiz, and but local officials could not yet give details about the victims and the circumstances of their deaths.
Phanfone has slowed down and weakened as it crossed the Philippines' land mass into the South China Sea, the weather bureau said.
It was packing maximum sustained winds Thursday of 130 kilometres per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 160 kph, moving north-west at 15 kph, the bureau added.
More than 24,000 people were stranded in seaports after the coast guard stopped all ferries from sailing. At least 115 domestic flights were also cancelled.
Over 58,000 people were also forced to evacuate their homes as Phanfone tore off rooftops, felled trees and electric posts and destroyed houses made of light materials. Landslides and floods were also reported in some affected areas.
Phanfone, the 21st cyclone to hit the Philippines this year, was expected to exit the country on Saturday, according to the weather bureau.
One of the strongest typhoons ever recorded, Typhoon Haiyan, hit the country in November 2013, killing more than 6,300 people and displacing more than 4 million.dpa