Philippines typhoon leads to Christmas misery | News | DW | 25.12.2019
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Philippines typhoon leads to Christmas misery

Tens of thousands were left stranded, homeless or in fear for their lives as Typhoon Phanfone wreaked destruction across the Philippines. The storm has led to a bleak Christmas Day for the mostly Catholic island nation.

Typhoon Phanfone has led to a miserable Christmas Day for millions of inhabitants of the mostly Catholic nation of the Philippines.

Tens of thousands of people were stranded at ports or evacuation centers on Wednesday, and many residents were housebound as the storm wreaked destruction across the island nation.

The typhoon has destroyed thousands of homes and, while no deaths have yet been reported, rescuers say they have yet to reach many areas that are more isolated.

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"The aftermath of course made us sad because it's Christmas Day, but it doesn't feel like Christmas," one resident, Paul Sinco, told Reuters news agency. "But we're blessed to be safe," he added.

Destroyed sports pitch in the Philippines (Reuters/P. Cinco)

Many city areas were left destroyed or flooded

Thousands in temporary shelter

All in all 16,000 people spent the night in improvised shelters after the typhoon made ground on Tuesday. Schools, gyms and government buildings doubled up as overnight accommodation.

More than 4,000 people have been evacuated. Trees and wildlife are also being destroyed in the wake of the storm.

Winds have reached up to 120 km/h (75mph) in parts of the region. This is one of the most ferocious storms the south-east Asian nation has received since thousands died in 2013.

Little let-up in the aggressive weather conditions is expected in the coming days.

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ed/aw (Reuters, AFP)

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