At least 45 people have died and several remain missing in the Philippines as Tropical Storm Nalgae slammed into the country on Saturday morning, after unleashing landslides and flash floods.
The authorities previously provided a death toll of 72, but then sharply revised the numbers hours later.
Winds grew to 95 kilometers (59 miles) per hour in speed, as the storm made landfall on the sparsely populated Catanduanes island, officials said.
The Maguindanao province was said to be most affected.
Officials rescued over 7,000 people before the tropical storm made landfall
Meanwhile, the latest storm bulletin said heavy, torrential rain will continue in Manila and nearby provinces as the storm cuts through the main Luzon island and heads to the South China Sea.
An average of 20 storms hit Philippines every year, killing hundreds and shunning scores of others into unrelenting poverty. Scientists warn that the intensity of these storms is only getting worse as climate change makes the world a warmer place.
Rescue operations continue
Search and rescue teams are focusing on the village of Kusiong, where dozens of bodies were pulled out of water and thick mud on Friday after the floods hit.
"Based on our projections, this one is really strong so we really prepared for it," Alejandro said, adding that 5,000 rescue teams were on standby.
Nasrullah Imam, a disaster agency official in Maguindanao province, said they were gathering all rescue teams to conducts a briefing before further deployment. "It's no longer raining so this will help our search and operation," he said.
Some 7,000 people were evacuated before Nalgae made landfall, officials said. They further urged residents in the storm's path to stay inside their homes. The Philippine Coast Guard has suspended ferry services across most regions.