Landslides, floods leave 22 dead in Philippines

A resident looking over at her damaged home in the landslide-hit community in Bulan, Sorsogon province, the Philippines, on Dec 29, 2018.
A resident looking over at her damaged home in the landslide-hit community in Bulan, Sorsogon province, the Philippines, on Dec 29, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MANILA (XINHUA) - At least 22 people have died and a number are missing after torrential rain triggered landslides and flash flooding in some regions in the Philippines, disaster officials and police said on Sunday (Dec 30).

The deaths were mostly due to landslides and drowning in the Bicol region and Eastern Visayas in the central Philippines, according to the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Of the initial total death toll of 22, council spokesman Edgar Posadas said that 16 people died in the Bicol region, and six in the Eastern Visayas.

Claudio Yucot, the country's Office of Civil Defence regional director in the Bicol region, said seven people drowned in three towns in Masbate province. In Sorsogon province, he said four people died in landslides in the Sorsogon City and Bulan town.

In Albay province, he added that three people, including a three-year-old boy, died in a landslide in San Francisco village in Legazpi City.

In Camarines Sur province, he said a father and son were buried alive in a landslide.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geographical and Astronomical Services Administration earlier warned heavy rains may pour over the northern and central Philippines brought on by the tropical depression, which has already weakened into a low-pressure area after making landfall in Eastern Samar in the central Philippines on Saturday.

As of Sunday morning, the council said a total of 1,274 families or 4,906 persons were affected by a tropical depression that dumped rains since it entered the Philippine area of responsibility.

The agency also said that 78 areas were flooded in the Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions, while 59 areas experienced power outages in the southeast Asian country.

A total of 3,678 passengers, 356 rolling cargoes, 28 vessels and seven small ferries were stranded, the agency said, adding that 36 domestic flights have been cancelled since Thursday.