Philippines floods, landslides leave at least 26 dead

by Kim Boateng Posted on December 30th, 2018

At least twenty six people have been killed in landslides and floods caused by a tropical depression triggering heavy rain over the eastern Philippines.

Authorities say more than 22,000 people have also been displaced in six provinces that bore the brunt of the big wet.

Most victims died in landslides, including a family of three asleep when their house was buried in Legazpi City, 336 kilometres south east of Manila, police said on Sunday.

In nearby Tiwi town, also in Albay province, four people were killed in a separate landslide, disaster relief officials said.

Landslides also killed four in the nearby province of Sorsogon, two in Camarines Sur and three in Eastern Samar province, where the tropical depression made landfall on Saturday.

Three people drowned in floods in Eastern Samar and the adjacent province of Western Samar, the regional civil defence office said.

In Masbate province, six people drowned in floods while one person was killed after being struck by a falling tree, the office added.

Rescue teams were still searching for several missing in the affected areas.

The weather bureau said the tropical depression, locally named Usman, has weakened into a low-pressure area after making landfall, but it warned eastern and central provinces would continue to experience rains.

A cold front and the northeast monsoon were also bringing bad weather over the capital and other parts of the country, which could dampen usually rowdy New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Each year the Philippines is hit by an average of 20 cyclones causing floods, landslides and other accidents.

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