16 dead as Typhoon Pedring strikes Philippines

Manila – Typhoon Nesat smashed into the Philippines Tuesday, leaving at least 16 people dead, with the capital Manila enduring waist-deep floods, blackouts and dramatic storm surges.

The Philippines is hit by about 20 major storms annually, many of them deadly, but the government said Nesat was one of the largest the country had faced this year, with its rain and wind path twice as big as average.

“This storm is very intense, the rain is strong and winds are powerful . . . we are hearing of rivers about to burst their banks, and there are evacuations ongoing in different areas,” civil defence chief Benito Ramos told AFP.

“We do not have exact figures on how big the damage is . . . as the storm is still battering us.”

He later told AFP that at least 16 people were killed as of 7:00 pm (1100 GMT), with the toll likely to rise overnight as more reports from rescuers on the ground were expected to filter in.

He said four of the dead were crushed by a collapsed structure in Manila, while a baby fell into a raging river in an eastern province Monday.

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