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Tropical Storm Kills at Least 53 in the Philippines

A resident clears the mud off outside his business establishment at Alcantara township, Cebu province in central Philippines Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014.

Philippine officials say the death toll has risen to 53 from Tropical Storm Jangmi, which caused landslides and floods in the central and southern parts of the country.

Most of the deaths occurred Tuesday as the storm moved away from southern Mindanao Island, where a day earlier its heavy rains closed highways and bridges.

Many local residents and authorities were caught off guard by the massive landslides that buried houses and vehicles under rocks and mud. Officials say dozens of homes were destroyed.

Many of the affected areas had not yet recovered from last year's Super Typhoon Haiyan, which was the strongest storm ever to hit the country.

Haiyan killed more than 7,300 people and brought some of the strongest winds ever recorded on land. Thousands of its victims are still living in tents, a year after the storm hit.

The Southeast Asian nation has faced unusually severe typhoons in the past few years, including Typhoon Bopha in 2012, which left 1,900 people dead or missing.