Philippine Christmas Day Storm Death Toll Rises to 20

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The death toll from a tropical storm that hit the central Philippines on Christmas Day has risen to 20, with more than 20,000 others left homeless, the government said Sunday.

More drowning victims as well as the body of an elderly man crushed by a fallen tree had been found on Panay island along with that of an electrocution victim, raising the number of dead by nine, the civil defense office said.

Four other people were missing after Tropical Storm Wukong hit the island on Tuesday, it said in an updated bulletin.

The government agency said Wukong wrecked about 5,000 houses, driving entire communities into government-run shelters.

More than 23,000 people remained in these camps Sunday, it added.

Wukong unleashed floods and landslides across the country’s center before dissipating in the South China Sea, three weeks after Typhoon Bopha hit the south of the country and left 1,901 people dead or missing.

The government is still feeding thousands of homeless survivors and building shelters for them after entire towns were wiped out by Bopha, the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year.

The Philippines is hit by about 20 major storms or typhoons each year.

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