Flooding, landslides kill at least 25 people in Philippines

Many were buried in mud as tropical storm Megi brought torrential rain to southern and central areas of the archipelago.

At least 25 people have been killed in heavy rains and landslides caused by tropical storm Megi, the first of the season to hit the Southeast Asian archipelago, as it tore through the central and southern Philippines.

Megi made landfall on Sunday with sustained winds of up to 65 kilometres (40 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 80km/h (50mph). The Philippines usually sees about  20 such storms annually.

Some 22 villagers were confirmed to have died in landslides in four villages in central Leyte province on Sunday and Monday, City Police Chief Joemen Collado said. At least six other people were reported missing in the landslides, and a search was under way, he added.

Three other storm-related deaths were reported by the government’s main disaster-response agency in the southern Davao region.

“In one village, a landslide occurred and other victims, unfortunately, were also swept away by the surge of water,” Collado told the DZBB radio network. “There were at least six missing but there could be more.”

Torrents of muddy, brown water at a landslide area at Baybay City in Leyte province where at least 25 people were killed in tropical storm Megi [Philippine Coast Guard via AP Photo]

Nearly 200 floods were reported in different areas in central and southern provinces over the weekend, forcing about 30,000 families from their homes, officials said.

Images shared by the local fire bureau on Monday showed rescuers wading through partially submerged homes and digging for survivors in a landslide-hit area.

Tropical storm Megi is expected to weaken to 45km/h (28mph) and move back out over the sea on Tuesday, the state weather bureau said.

The Southeast Asian nation also lies on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’, where many of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

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