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Death toll from Christmas Eve typhoon in Philippines rises to 28

The death toll from the typhoon that hit the Philippines on Christmas Eve has risen to 28 as of Friday, CNN reports.

Typhoon Phanfone, also known as Typhoon Ursula, hit the island nation’s Eastern Samar province late Tuesday afternoon with the strength of a Category 1 hurricane, including wind gusts up to 121 mph.

The storm came as the largely Catholic country was preparing to celebrate Christmas.

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According to the country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), 12 people remain missing.

The agency said Friday that over 185,000 people were affected by the typhoon with more than 43,000 taking refuge in evacuation centers. 

Additionally, of the 147 cities that experienced power outages due to Ursula, only 31 have had power restored to them, NDRRMC said Friday.

The Philippines reportedly gets hit with more typhoons than any other country in the world; Ursula was the 21st typhoon to make landfall on the country this year.

Another typhoon, Typhoon Kammuri, struck earlier this month, killing 13 people and damaging over 8,000 houses.

Phanfone has drifted over the South China Sea and is expected to weaken to a tropical storm before making landfall in Vietnam this weekend. 

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