MANILA - Flash floods and landslides triggered by Typhoon Fengshen have left at least 14 people dead and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands in the Philippines, officials said Saturday.
The Risao river in the town of Upi in southern Maguindanao province overflowed and washed away at least five houses, army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Julieto Ando said.
Ten people drowned while at least eight others were missing, Ando said.
A landslide buried several houses at a slum area in Cotabato city, also in the south, killing two people, officials said.
A 49-year-old woman died after her house collapsed after being buffeted by strong winds in a coastal village in central Negros island.
A low intensity tornado triggered by the typhoon also left one dead after it destroyed 16 houses in Negros, the Philippine Star reported.
The local social welfare department office said nine towns and cities were flooded, forcing the evacuation of over 3,000 people.
In Iloilo province, floodwaters forced hundreds of residents on rooftops in the riverside town of Pavia as rescuers were hampered by strong rains and lack of rubber boats to reach those in need, officials said.
"We fear that many could be missing," provincial administrator Manuel Mejorada said, adding that Pavia, with a population of 30,000, remained cut off.
In the urban centers of Jaro and Iloilo city, residents could be seen wading in waist-deep waters, with roads rendered impassable to vehicles.
The National Power Corporation was forced to shut down its power plant in the area, triggering a blackout across the province, plant manager Nelson Hemona said.
Roads connecting the southern cities of Cotabato and General Santos were flooded, while a concrete bridge also collapsed, isolating some villages and towns, Catholic-run radio station DXMS reported.
The storm forced over 200,000 people to seek temporary shelter in the eastern Bicol region, the civil defence office said.
Heavy rains battered the Bicol region overnight, and over 600 people were stranded in various seaports there.
It also uprooted small trees, blew away tin roofs and caused power outages in the central Visayas provinces.
Early on Saturday Fengshen was tracking a west-northwest direction, packing winds of 140 kilometres (87 miles) an hour.
It was forecast to dump heavy rain over large parts of the central Visayas region and parts of the main island of Luzon until Sunday, the weather bureau said.
Residents in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes were warned against possible flash floods and landslides, while those in coastal areas were told to watch out for big waves.
Officials said domestic flights going to the central Philippines have been suspended, while inter-island ferry services were also halted.
Government agencies were instructed to stockpile on relief goods, while state-run hospitals were placed on alert.
Coast guard spokesman Lieutenant Commander Armand Balilo said 21 inter-island ferries were barred from leaving port in the central city of Cebu while one vessel ran aground in the central island of Samar.
There were major power interruptions in towns and cities in Samar as well as in the impoverished province of Leyte, where highways were also inundated, the civil defence office said.