The death toll from flooding and landslides in the Philippines wrought by tropical storm Jangmi rose to 53, officials said, with some regions saying they were caught off guard by the deluge.

Local officials in Catbalogan town in Samar province said 19 people died in a landslide that left homes and vehicles buried under rocks and mud.

The town's mayor said: "There was no evacuation, people were just advised to prepare for possible landslides."

Jangmi affected 121,737 people, of which 80,186 are in evacuation centres, according to the national disaster monitoring agency, which said that 53 people were killed overall.

The storm's death toll was nearly triple that of the last major storm to hit the country, Super Typhoon Hagupit, earlier this month.

Hagupit, with winds of 210km/h, sparked a massive evacuation effort as it brought back memories of the strongest storm ever to hit the country, Super Typhoon Haiyan, whose 230km/h winds left 7,350 dead or missing in 2013.

In Misamis Oriental province, floods flattened rice and corn fields resulting in an estimated 400 million pesos (€7.4m) in damages, the local governor said.

In Leyte - the province worst-hit by Haiyan - the rains brought landslides and floods that closed off major roads.

Mina Marasigan, the national disaster monitoring agency's spokeswoman, defended the government's handling of the storm saying weather warnings were sent out even as Jangmi was still forming over the Pacific Ocean.

"Maybe people underestimated the situation because it's a tropical depression, not a super typhoon. They dismissed it as weak," she said.

"We need to study what happened in this storm closely and find ways for the public to better understand storm warnings," she added.