4 Dead in Typhoon Utor's passage across Philippines

Bangkok, Aug 13 (EFE).- At least four people died and 11 fishermen are missing after the passage of Typhoon Utor over the northern Philippines, a storm that brought wind gusts of up to 185 kph (115 mph), authorities reported Tuesday.

The National Council for Prevention and Reduction of Disasters raised the number of people who suffered property damage in the storm to 153,893 in its latest bulletin.

A total of 36,433 Filipinos are being housed in 87 shelters in Utor's wake.

The preliminary estimate of the damage to the regional infrastructure and agriculture stands at 69.3 million pesos ($1.6 million).

A total of 245 homes were completely destroyed and another 1,854 were damaged.

Power outages, school classes suspended, roadways cut, trees downed and substantial flooding are some of the effects of the storm, which made landfall on Monday bringing torrential rains.

Utor, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines so far this year, on Monday moved away from the archipelago and is now over the ocean and heading toward China.

An average of 15-20 typhoons hit the Philippines each year.

Typhoon Bopha killed more than 1,000 people - not to mention the 850 people who are still missing and, in all likelihood, dead - in the Philippines in December 2012. Some 6 million people were affected by that storm.

Deforestation, the proliferation of illegal mining operations, the scarcity of infrastructure and the many shantytowns around the country all increase the devastating effects of typhoons in the Philippines.