Philippines storm death toll rises to 31

Nock-ten was charted as moving out into the South China Sea before dawn on Thursday.

Manila: The toll from tropical storm Nock-ten has risen with at least 31 dead and 27 others missing in the Philippines which has been hit by heavy rains, rough seas and landslides, authorities said on Thursday.

The number of dead and missing is expected to increase when reports come in from the northern provinces that were pummelled by the storm overnight, said civil defence operations officer Edna Rola.

"We have not yet received reports from the north (but) we presume that there will be additional casualties," Rola said.

Nock-ten, named after a Laotian bird, was charted as moving out into the South China Sea before dawn on Thursday after crossing the mountainous northern half of the main Philippine island of Luzon.

This area is known to be prone to landslides and flash floods, with many people residing in vulnerable areas.

Earlier this week, the storm capsized boats and caused floods and landslides in large parts of Luzon, and forced the government to close schools in the capital Manila and surrounding areas.

Storm signals have now been lowered as the storm moved further away from the country, the weather station said.

However, Nock-ten has intensified in strength, packing maximum winds of 120 kilometres (74 miles) per hour as it moves northwest, the weather authorities added.

Bureau Report

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