South Philippines struck with flood and landslide; 31 dead

At least 31 people died and nine others were missing in flash floods and landslides set off by torrential rains that swamped a southern Philippine province overnight and trapped some residents on their roofs, officials said Friday.

Most of the victims were swept away by rampaging floodwaters and drowned or were hit by debris-laden mudslides in three towns in hard-hit Maguindanao province, said Naguib Sinarimbo, the interior minister for a five-province Muslim autonomous region.

The unusually heavy rains that flooded several towns in Maguindanao and outlying provinces overnight in a mountainous region with marshy plains were caused by Tropical Storm Nalgae, which was expected to blow into the country’s eastern coast from the Pacific Ocean on Saturday morning, according to forecasters.

Floodwaters rapidly rose in many low-lying villages, forcing some villagers to climb onto their roofs, where they were rescued by army troops, police and volunteers, reports AP.

The wide rain bands of Nalgae, the 16th storm to hit the Philippine archipelago this year, enabled it to dump rains in the country’s south although the storm was blowing farther north, government forecaster Sam Duran said.

About 5,000 people were protectively evacuated away from the path of the storm, which was not expected to strengthen into a typhoon as it approached land, government forecasters and other officials said.

About 20 typhoons and storms batter the Philippine archipelago each year. It’s located in the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a region along most of the Pacific Ocean rim where many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur, making the Southeast Asian nation one of the world’s most disaster-prone.



Related Articles

Back to top button