MANILA (Updated 12:29 p.m.) -- Disaster officials said early Thursday that the death toll from Typhoon "Basyang" (international name: Conson) that tore across the Philippines rose to 23.

In an interview over Bombo Radyo, National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) Administrator Benito Ramos said 17 people were killed in Southern Luzon and three each in Central Luzon and Bicol Region.

The NDCC reported at 6 a.m. that at least 59 people were reported missing, including 40 in Calaguan Island in Camarines Norte province; six in Mariveles, Bataan, and two in the village of Sukdan in Bagamanoc, Catanduanes.

The NDCC report said additional 18 reported missing persons on board fishing boats, which capsized at the vicinity of Balesin Island, Polilio, Quezon are still being verified.

Fourteen people were also injured, including 12 in Calabarzon and two in Bataan, the report added.

Several people were killed by falling debris or electrocuted. One man drowned trying to save a dozen pigs in a swollen lake south of Manila, while his companion was swept away and is missing, Bragas said. Twenty-seven out of 30 towns in Laguna province were flooded and the governor declared a state of calamity.

A concrete wall collapsed and pinned four carpenters to death while a landslide killed a man in his house in nearby Tagaytay City. The man's son remains missing in the landslide, regional disaster operations officer Fred Bragas said.

In Quezon province, four fishermen drowned and 18 others were rescued after huge waves and strong winds battered their motor boats as they raced toward an island to seek shelter late Tuesday, provincial Gov. David Suarez told The Associated Press.

Villagers and the coast guard have launched a search for 27 missing fishermen, he said.

Three vessels, including an LPG carrier, sank during the typhoon and most of the crew were rescued while some are missing.

Another nine fishermen were rescued after big waves overturned their boats off the island province of Catanduanes, regional military spokesman Maj. Harold Cabunoc said. The other 10 remained missing.

Meanwhile, Ramos said some 2,904 houses were damaged in four regions, while 370 were destroyed.

The NDCC report said 12,798 families composed of 64,246 persons were affected by Typhoon Basyang in 194 barangays of five cities and 47 municipalities in 12 provinces in Central and Southern Luzon, National Capital Region and Bicol.

Some 45 evacuation centers were set up to provide shelter for 1,685 families or 8,281 people. As of 6 a.m., 1,526 families or 7,545 persons were still inside 37 evacuation centers.

The estimated cost of damaged to infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries and schools in Southern Luzon and National Capitol Region were placed at P22.297 million, the NDCC said.

Power restoration

Electricity was restored to most of Manila and nearby provinces after Basyang, packing winds of 120 kilometers per hour, slammed ashore late Tuesday and early Wednesday, toppling power lines, downing trees and ripping off roofs and tarpaulin billboards.

According to NDCC, power has been restored in some portion of Metro Manila, including Quezon City, Balintawak, Diliman, Kamuning. The substations in Duhat, Balintawak and Sucat have also been reenergized, it said.

Power in Ilocos region has been fully restored, while only 80 percent has been restored in Central Luzon.

But the NDCC said Camarines Norte province remained in power crisis as of 6 a.m. Thursday.

During the NDCC emergency meeting on Wednesday, the Department of Energy reported that strong winds caused the tripping of the north to south transmission backbone of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

Moving away

"Basyang" continues to move further away from the Philippine area of responsibility early Thursday, the weather forecasters said.

In its 5 a.m. weather bulletin, the Philippines Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the center of the storm was spotted 400 kilometers west northwest of Dagupan City.

Basyang packs maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts up 100 kph.

The weather disturbance is still moving at northwest at 19 kph and is expected to be at 720 kilometers northwest of Laoag City Friday morning. (ABC/AP/Sunnex)