Philippines tropical storm: almost 90 dead

Severe tropical storm Tembin made landfall in Cateel, Davao Oriental in southern Philippines early Friday, China's Xinhua news agency reported according to the state weather bureau PAGASA.

City officials said more than 14,600 residents had been evacuated on Friday and about 4,000 people were rescued from flooded homes. "The village is no longer there", Tubod police officer Gerry Parami told AFP by telephone.

Police, soldiers and volunteers were digging through the rubble of Dalama, a farming village of about 2,000 people, using shovels in search of more bodies, he added.

"We've sent rescuers but they're making little progress due to the rocks", he said.

The tropical storm is already 245 kilometers west northwest of Zamboanga City, still moving west at 20 km/h.

Superintendent Lemuel Gonda of the northern Mindanao regional police said the police received reports that 19 people died in Lanao del Norte.

Four were missing in floods that swamped a highway in the town of Lanao del Sur, rendering it impassable, provincial spokesman Zia Alonto Adiong said.

More than 15,000 people have been displaced by Tembin, which slammed into Midnanao on Friday and swept through the region's provinces as it moved west at 20 kilometres per hour.

It was forecast to smash into the tip of the western island of Palawan late Saturday, the state weather service said.

Tembin immediately followed tropical storm Kai-Tak, which brought deaths and ruins to Eastern Visayas last weekend.

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