Typhoon Skip, the third killer storm to hit the Philippines in two weeks, blew into the South China Sea early Tuesday, leaving behind a swath of flattened homes, grounded ships and a landslide that devastated a village. At least 36 people were killed.
Hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless by the typhoon, which slammed into east-central Leyte island with winds of 110 mph Monday afternoon and plowed west across the archipelago overnight.The storm left the Philippines and moved into the South China Sea with slightly diminished force after sunrise Tuesday. Forecasters said Skip was heading toward Vietnam Tuesday evening.
Philippine relief officials immediately began tallying damage reports from the remote islands of the central Visayan region, many of which were cut off from communications. The same area bore the brunt of Typhoon Ruby, which killed at least 300 people on Oct. 24.
Skip forced at least two ships to run aground, and two others were reported missing.
Authorities said 19 crewmen fled in a life raft when the tanker Ethane ran aground off Tres Reyes island 110 miles south of Manila. The sailors were believed to have made it to a nearby lighthouse safely.
Another vessel, the Oroquieta City, was reported missing, but officials could not say what kind of ship it was or how many people were aboard.
A passenger ship, the Sampaguita, went aground near Zamboanga in the extreme southern Philippines, but all passengers and crew were reported safe.
Combined reports from relief agencies showed at least 36 people died during the typhoon, most of them drowning victims. The deaths included nine in Manila, 10 in Camarines Sur province, seven on Panay island, seven on Negros island and three on Mindoro island.
Rescuers were digging through tons of mud in Santa Rosa village in Camarines Sur province, 170 miles southeast of Manila, where several homes were destroyed and 20 people were missing under a landslide caused by torrential rains. Four bodies had been recovered from the site. Six drownings were also reported in the province.