Nine dead in Philippines after tropical storm, landslides

Rescuers evacuating residents from their homes near a swollen river in Gonzaga town, Cagayan province, north of Manila on Oct 11, 2021 PHOTO: AFP PHOTO/GONZAGA MUNICIPAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT OFFICE (GONZAGA-MDRRMO)

MANILA (AFP) - At least nine people were killed and 11 others were missing after heavy rain across the Philippines flooded villages and triggered landslides, authorities said on Tuesday (Oct 12).

Severe Tropical Storm Kompasu drenched swathes of the most populous island of Luzon on Monday as it swept across the archipelago nation towards the South China Sea.

Four people were killed in landslides in the landlocked mountainous province of Benguet, and one person drowned in the coastal province of Cagayan, the national disaster agency said.

Seven people were missing on Luzon island.

"Eleven municipalities were flooded but it subsided this morning," Cagayan provincial information officer Rogelio Sending said.

Major highways and bridges were flooded, he said, but the water was retreating Tuesday.

The storm intensified the southwest monsoon, sparking a flash flood in a village in the western island province of Palawan, leaving four people dead and the same number missing.

"Around seven to eight barangays (villages) are still flooded... due to clogged drainage or lack of drainage," said Mr Earl Timbancaya, a disaster officer in the city of Puerto Princesa on Palawan. "But it's subsiding now."

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.

Because a warmer atmosphere holds more water, climate change increases the risk and intensity of flooding from extreme rainfall.

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