Manila: Super-typhoon Nanmadol left at least 16 people dead after hitting the Philippines, and the toll is expected to rise as hopes of finding those missing fade, the civil defence chief said on Monday.

Over 61,000 people have been evacuated from their homes after Nanmadol, the strongest storm to hit the country this year, lashed the northern edge of the main island of Luzon at the weekend, causing landslides and floods.

Most of the 16 killed were buried in landslides, including two children in northern Baguio who were killed in an avalanche of rubbish at the city dump, said civil defence operations chief Benito Ramos.

Eight other people are still missing across the country, feared washed away at sea, in raging rivers, or buried under rubbish, he told.

"The missing are most likely dead but we are still searching for them, it is unlikely they are still alive after two or three days," he said.

Ramos said the dead and missing in garbage dumps were scavengers who made their living foraging for items to salvage, despite the risk that storms could cause the mountain of trash to cascade down upon them.

The problem is widespread in the impoverished Philippines, where people refuse to leave dangerous areas because they need to scratch out a living, he said.

"We know which areas get flooded, which areas are landslide-prone. Every time there is a calamity like the storm, these areas always get flooded then we evacuate the people but afterwards, they come back."

"Super-typhoon" is a term adopted by the Hong Kong Observatory in 2009 to refer to typhoons with winds of at least 185 kilometres an hour.

Large parts of northern Luzon still remain without power after Nanmadol hit with gusts of up to 230 kmh starting on Saturday, the civil defence office added.

(Agencies)