According to local officials, tens of thousands of people were evacuated in the Philippines' Eastern Visayas region, with more than 20,000 passengers and 157 naval vessels being stuck at the country's ports.

16 people were found dead on Thursday after the powerful typhoon Phanfone swept across the central part of the country, the AFP news agency reported, citing local disaster agency officials.

"It's like the younger sibling of Haiyan. It's less destructive, but it followed a similar path", Western Visayas region's disaster official Cindy Ferrer said. 

The calamity has brought strong winds and heavy rainfalls that have destroyed over 100 buildings and disrupted numerous power lines.

“The aftermath, of course, made us sad because it’s Christmas Day, but it doesn’t feel like Christmas, but we’re blessed to be safe...no major devastation or casualties reported”, Leyte province resident Paul Cinco said.

According to disaster officials, Phanfone's winds were blowing at a speed of 120 km per hour (75 miles per hour) when it hit the eastern Samar province.

On 3 December, more than 225,000 locals were evacuated as another powerful typhoon, Kammuri, ravaged Luzon and Mindoro islands.