Typhoon toll in Philippines rises to 17

Manila, Dec 18 (IANS) The toll from typhoon Melor, which has now moved out of the Philippines, has risen to 17, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Friday.

A total of 742,991 persons were evacuated as of Wednesday, Xinhua cited NDRRMC as saying.

The typhoon also left at least 22 people injured, it said.

The typhoon snapped power and communications lines, destroyed or closed roads and bridges and grounded planes and ships.

It may take months to restore power in some areas, authorities said.

A total of 130 domestic flights were cancelled since Monday due to the weather disturbance.

As of Friday, 73 passengers, seven vessels and 12 motor bancas were stranded due to rough sea conditions.

An estimated cost of damage to infrastructure and agriculture has reached $19 million.

An average of 20 typhoons pass through the Philippines each year. In 2013, typhoon Haiyan claimed more than 6,300 lives in the Philippines.

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