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At least five people have been killed and seven others are missing as tropical storm Nangka sweeps over the central Philippines, officials said Wednesday.

Packing winds of up to 83 kilometres (52 miles) an hour -- with gusts of up to 102 kilometres (63 miles) an hour -- the storm brought floods, landslides and power cuts across small islands in the centre of the archipelago.

Four fishermen drowned off Alabat island southeast of Manila late Tuesday as they tried to steer their boat to shelter from the approaching cyclone, said Perez municipal police chief Inspector Susan Planas.

Eleven other crew members were rescued but one of them was injured, she said in a telephone interview.

One person drowned off the island of Cebu and six others were missing off Cebu and Samar islands. A child was also missing in a flooded section of Romblon island, the civil defence office said.

A school and 69 houses were either destroyed or damaged, while more than 3,000 people fled their homes in Romblon, Leyte, Samar and Biliran islands due to rising floodwaters.

Ferries were barred from sailing, leaving 4,700 passengers and 246 vessels stranded, while 29 other vessels sought shelter in nearby ports, the government agency said.

Power was now being slowly restored on some of the islands, it said.

A school holiday has been declared in Manila and in other areas in the storm's path.

Weather services plotted the storm over Calapan city on Mindoro island, south of Manila at 4:00pm (0800 GMT) and said the eye should be over the South China Sea off the western coast of the main island of Luzon by early Thursday.