A tropical depression is blowing out of the Philippines after leaving 8 people dead and forcing more than 18,000 others to flee from their flooded homes.
The Office of Civil Defense says among the dead were five children who were swept away by strong currents in a rain-swollen river as they rushed home from school Monday in central Iloilo province.
Forecaster Buddy Javier said Thursday that Tropical Storm Banyan weakened into a depression after hitting southern Leyte province on the country's eastern coast on Wednesday. But it continued to dump heavy rains and flooded several central and southern towns.
Javier says the tropical depression may strengthen into a storm as it blows over the South China Sea toward Vietnam.