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Typhoon Cimaron Kills at Least 15 in Philippines


Philippine authorities say powerful typhoon Cimaron has killed at least 15 people on Luzon, the nation's main island.

The storm hit late Sunday with winds of almost 200 kilometers an hour.

Philippine media say the typhoon uprooted trees, toppled power lines and caused widespread blackouts over northern Luzon. Thousands evacuated coastal areas for higher ground.

Five people were reported drowned or killed by falling trees in the coastal town of Dianpigue in Isabela Province, about 338 kilometers northeast of Manilla. Local officials say 90 percent of the homes in the town of 5,000 residents were damaged.

Flash floods, a road accident, landslides and more fallen trees claimed at least 10 other lives. Many other people were injured in the storm.

The death toll from the storm was much lower than the more than 200 people killed by Typhoon Xangsane, which hit the Philippines in September.

Cimaron weakened as it passed over Luzon, but the storm is expected to re-intensify as it moves west over the South China Sea.

At 18 hours UTC, Monday, the typhoon was moving at about 6 kilometers an hour to the west, toward central Vietnam.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.