Eight dead in Philippine floods as thousands flee homes

MANILA: Nearly 10,000 people were evacuated from their homes in the north-eastern Philippines as heavy rain across the country left at least eight people dead, authorities said  on Sunday (Dec 20).

The storm – which has inundated villages and destroyed scores of houses in recent days – is the latest to batter the disaster-prone archipelago.

People push a half-submerged tricycle through a flooded street in Agusan del Sur province in Mindanao. (Photo: AFP/Erwin Mascarinas)

Floodwaters reached waist-deep in 14 towns in the Cagayan Valley in the northeast of the main island of Luzon – which saw the worst flooding in decades last month – regional civil defence officer Francis Joseph Reyes said.

That forced nearly 10,000 people to seek shelter in emergency centres.

The rain, which was intensified by the north-east monsoon, has filled Magat dam near to its critical level and the release of water threatens to aggravate the flooding, Reyes said.

Philippine-flood-Dec21-main1-750
Residents trying to salvage items from their destroyed house after tropical depression Vicky hit Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu island. Nearly 10,000 people were evacuated from their homes in the northeastern Philippines as heavy rain across the country left at least eight people dead, authorities said Sunday (Dec 20). – AFP

Authorities said at least six people drowned in two provinces on the major southern island of Mindanao, which was also hit by torrential rain in recent days.

Two elderly women were also killed in a rain-induced landslide on Saturday in the central province of Leyte.

Residents carry belongings from their homes at the typhoon-damaged Kasiglahan village in Rodriguez last month. (AP pic)

The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons every year, which typically wipe out harvests, homes and infrastructure in already impoverished areas.

At least 148 people were killed in a succession of typhoons in recent months that destroyed hundreds of thousands of houses.

Source: AFP/lk/CNA

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