MANILA, Philippines – The death toll from a typhoon that struck the Philippines last week has climbed to 36, the government said Sunday as it released a storm aftermath report.
Typhoon Cha-hom weakened into a low pressure area over the weekend after roaring across the country's mountainous north Friday.
Glenn Rabonza, administrator of the government's Office of Civil Defense, said in a typhoon aftermath report that the storm killed 36 people and forced nearly 15,000 to flee. About 5,500 houses were destroyed and more than 16,700 others were damaged.
Most of the deaths were caused by landslides, drowning and flying debris, Rabonza said.
About 20 typhoons and tropical storms lash the Philippines each year, usually after the rainy season starts in June, but Cha-hom came in the country's summer, an unusual occurrence.
Although government disaster agencies repeatedly issued warnings about the typhoon, some people may not have fully prepared for its deadly force because it struck in summer, regional disaster official Eugene Cabrera said.
"The typhoon struck too early, when there was still no sense of urgency for such problems," Cabrera said.
A tropical storm that hit the northeastern Philippines earlier this month left 27 dead.