Manila: The death toll from a tropical storm that swept through the central Philippines before heading toward Vietnam has risen to at least 24 with six people missing, officials said Saturday.
Additional reports of casualties were received by the Office of Civil Defense overnight yesterday. Half of the fatalities were drowning victims of floods that hit the central and southern Philippines, the agency reported.
Civil Defense chief Benito Ramos said three of nine people who had been missing were found alive.
More than 30,000 people stranded at seaports and airports since early in the week have resumed their journeys after Tropical Storm Son-Tinh left the Philippines late yesterday.
The storm gained strength as it blew westward toward Vietnam at 22 kilometres per hour with sustained winds of 85 kph and maximum winds of 100 kph.
Weather forecaster Fernando Cada said the storm could still become a typhoon over the South China Sea and could hit the northern coast of Vietnam by tomorrow.