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Deadly typhoon stikes the Philippines

Typhoon Bopha the most powerful typhoon to hit Mindanao in decades

MANILA, Philippines | December 4, 2012

A typhoon struck the southern Philippines Tuesday, destroying homes, triggering a landslide and is blamed for the deaths of at least 27 people, officials said.

Officials said . The storm had winds reaching 110 mph as it came ashore at Baganga early Tuesday, CNN reported.

Authorities and aid officials said millions of people were in the storm's path.

At least 27 deaths are attributed to the storm, the Philippines News Agency reported. The typhoon affected more than 57,000 people, destroyed houses and stranded people in two Mindanao regions as well as portions of the Visaya islands.

More than 56,000 people were staying in evacuation centers, Lt. Col. Perfecto Penaredondo, a military assistant with the Philippine's Defense Office, said.

A landslide in eastern Mindanao blocked a national highway, stranding hundreds in buses, vans and cars, officials said.

Power outages and disruptions in communications systems were reported in the storm's wake, GMA News reported.

The typhoon weakened slightly as it moved west-northwest across the island, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said.

By mid-afternoon, the center of the storm moved away from Mindanao and was headed toward the Philippine island of Negros, soaking a wide swath with heavy rain and increasing the risks of mudslides and flash flooding, forecasters said.

The storm, called Pablo in the Philippines, had a wind speed two and a half times top winds of Severe Tropical Storm Washi, known in the Philippines as Sendong, which killed more than 1,200 people on Mindanao in December 2011, CNN said.

Ahead of Bopha's landfall, however, government agencies relocated more than 50,000 people to evacuation centers, positioned relief supplies for delivery to storm-ravaged regions and put emergency crews, the military and hospitals on alert, officials said.

Schools were closed in many cities, and dozens of flights were canceled, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management said. More than 3,000 travelers were stuck at ports because ferry service was disrupted.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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