© Agence France-PresseA motorcycle plows through flood water on street in the financial district of Manila on June 23, 2009 which has suffered from heavy rains amid the approach of a new tropical storm. The storm, which is due to hit the central islands has left hundreds of passengers stranded at ports in the central Philippines as the coast guard ordered ships ashore to escape rough waves.
At least eight people were killed while 12 others remained missing after tropical storm Nangka swept through the central and northern Philippines, officials said on Thursday.

The dead and missing were mostly fishermen whose boats were damaged at sea or who were washed away by floods.

The storm also forced more than 44,000 people to flee their homes due to rising waters, the civil defence office said, with at least five reported injured.

Nangka brought heavy rains, strong winds, hailstorms and even a tornado to various parts of the country, causing floods, landslides, power outages and forcing the Coast Guard to suspend sea travel in the affected areas.

This left almost 10,000 people and hundreds of vehicles stranded at ports when ferries were unable to sail, the civil defence office said.

Seventy-seven people were also rescued from rough waters by the coast guard during the storm.

Schools remained shut in the capital and surrounding areas due to rain and damage caused by the storm.

As of 5:00 am Thursday (2100 GMT Wednesday), Nangka had weakened and was charted 170 kilometres (106 miles) west of Metropolitan Manila, packing winds of 55 kilometres per hour as it moved northwest, the government weather station said.

However the government warned Nangka could still regain strength as it moves across the South China Sea towards Taiwan.