Tropical storm Kai Tak kills at least 30 in Visayas

Over 30 people were killed in landslides and floods triggered by tropical storm Kai Tak or Urduja as it pummeled eastern Visayas on Sunday (Dec 17), according to a report in The Manila Times Online on Monday.

Police and local officials said that official figures of deaths have yet to be confirmed by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

According to police and local government reports, 14 people died in Caibiran, Biliran; six died in Leyte; four in Almeria, Biliran; four in Naval, Biliran; two in San Fernando, Romblon; and one each in Palanas municipality of Masbate, Biliran town and Labo municipality in Camarines Norte.

Packed with gusts of up to 90 kph, the storm cut off power in areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda four years ago.  Power lines in 39 towns and cities were toppled and roads and bridges were damaged by the storm.

In Leyte City, tropical storm Kai Tak brought flash floods of up to 1.5 metres and strong winds that left the city without electricity and water.  The storm also damaged farms and crops bring more misery to people who have yet to recover from the devastation wrought by Yolanda.

Meanwhile, another tropical storm was spotted outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Sunday.  It was located at 1,990 km east of Mindanao with maximum sustained winds of 40-50 kph.

Kai Tak was heading toward Aklan late Sunday and was expected to move west-southwest at 15 kph and was forecast to leave the Philippines on Wednesday.