MANILA, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- The severe tropical storm that ravaged the southern Philippines last week has left 164 people dead and 171 more missing, the government said on Monday.
Tropical Storm Tembin started lashing parts of Mindanao on Friday, triggered massive flash flooding and mudslides in the region. Nearly 98,000 people, mostly from poor farmer families, spent their Christmas holidays in 261 government evacuation centers.
Romina Marasigan, the spokesperson for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), said some residents did not heed the call of the government to evacuate before Tembin made a landfall.
Most of the dead were recorded in Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga peninsula and Lanao del Sur, according to the disaster agency.
Marasigan said roads, bridges and farms were also destroyed by Tembin.
At the weekend before Tembin swept through the southern Philippines, powerful tropical storm Kai-Tak also lashed the central Philippines and southern parts of Luzon, the Philippine main and biggest island, leaving more than 80 people dead or missing.
Tembin, known as Vinta in the Philippines, is one of the deadliest storms that hit the Philippines in recent years. Although the Philippines is located along the typhoon belt in the Pacific, Mindanao region is usually spared.
The Philippines is visited by an average of 20 typhoons and storms every year, a number of which are destructive or deadly. Tembin is the 20th that hit this archipelagic country this year.
Tembin developed into a typhoon on Sunday before moving into the South China Sea.
In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan battered the central Philippines provinces of Leyte and Samar, killing more than 5,000.