The death toll from an offseason typhoon that roared across the northern Philippines last week has climbed to 46 as more bodies were recovered, officials said Monday.
In the hardest hit northern province of Pangasinan, eight more deaths were recorded, including a 3-month-old boy who died of exposure, bringing the provincial death toll to 24, said disaster relief official Eugene Cabrera.
The overall figure for six provinces rose to 46 dead, 13 missing and 42 injured since Typhoon Cha-hom slammed ashore Friday and weakened into a low pressure area, the Office of Civil Defense reported.
Nearly 5,000 people remained in evacuation centers, said civil defense administrator Glenn Rabonza, adding about $16 million worth of property and crops also were destroyed.
Most of the deaths were caused by landslides, drowning and flying debris, Rabonza said.
The mountain province of Ifugao and parts of Pangasinan were declared disaster zones to speed up the release of emergency funds, he said.
About 20 typhoons and tropical storms lash the Philippines each year, usually after the rainy season in June, but Cha-hom came in early, an unusual occurrence that may have been caused by global warming, said chief government forecaster Nathaniel Cruz.
Cruz said he and other government scientists will include Cha-hom and another tropical storm that hit the week earlier and left 27 people dead in an ongoing government study on how global warming could affect the Philippine archipelago.