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5,000 flee homes as storm hits the Philippines

More than 5,000 people have fled to temporary shelters in southern Philippines as tropical storm Dujuan brought heavy rains, submerging dozens of villages, the country’s disaster monitoring agency said on Sunday.

Two regions were hit, including the country’s nickel mining hub of Caraga, with floods damaging some houses and bridges in the province of Surigao del Sur, according to the agency’s initial report.

The bad weather also prompted the cancellation of at least 36 domestic flights.

Heavy rains were expected to continue over Caraga and several other provinces on Monday morning when Dujuan was forecast to make initial landfall over the Dinagat Islands-Eastern Samar-Leyte area, the weather bureau said.

Packing maximum winds of 65kms per hour and gusts of up to 80 kms/h, Dujuan is the first storm to hit the Philippines this year.

The Southeast Asian archipelago sees around 20 tropical storms annually.

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