Manila, Dec 18 (IANS): The death toll from the powerful typhoon Rai that battered the Philippines has climbed to 12, a disaster official said.
The toll is likely to rise as local officials are still gathering data from the affected areas, reports Xinhua news agency.
Ricardo Jalad, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director, said the 12 victims were residents of the central Philippines and northern Mindanao region.
Local television showed footage of houses and buildings destroyed by fierce winds which also tore down trees in the affected provinces.
Rai also caused a massive power outage in the central and southern Philippines.
Typhoon Rai, the 15th powerful cyclone to batter the Philippines this year, made landfall on Thursday afternoon, unleashing fierce winds and heavy rains that triggered flash floods that left villages submerged and people appealing for rescue.
Local officials have evacuated tens of thousands of people in the central Philippines and the northern Mindanao region a day before the typhoon hit land due to the threat of massive flooding and landslides.
According to the state weather bureau, Rai is packing sustained winds of 150 km per hour and gusts of up to 205 km per hour.
The typhoon was currently hovering over the coastal waters of San Vicente in Palawan province.