Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Deadly, Slow-Moving Storm Batters Southern Philippines

Deadly, Slow-Moving Storm Batters Southern Philippines Deadly, Slow-Moving Storm Batters Southern Philippines
Steve Townsend | 24 December, 2017, 04:10

MESSAN ANNAM/AFP/Getty Images Rescue workers evacuate flood-affected residents in Davao on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao early on 23 December 2017 after Tropical Storm Tembin dumped torrential rains across the island.

Nineteen deaths were reported near the town of Tubod, Lanao del Norte in Mindanao, the archipelago nation's second-largest island, where Tropical Storm Vinta (international name: Tembin) unleashed flash floods and mudslides that devastated one village on Friday, a regional police report said.

Although the Philippines is hit by some 20 typhoons or storms annually, typhoons rarely strike Mindanao, home to 20 million people.

Forty-seven were killed in Zamboanga del Norte province, 18 in Lanao del Sur and eight in the provinces of Bukidnon and Misamis Occidental, as well as Iligan City, officials added. Authorities in Salvador said other bodies were retrieved upstream.

At least 75 people were reported dead in the Zamboanga peninsula and 58 people are said to be missing. The bodies were swept downriver from the flooded town of Salvador, Rando Salvacion, the Sapad town police chief, told AFP.

After hitting Mindanao on Friday, Tembin continued to advance westward, passing through Sulu sea with winds of up to 95 km per hour.

"The floodwaters from the mountain came down so fast and swept away people and houses", he said.

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Landslides had blocked rescue and relief convoys to the impoverished region, officials said Saturday.

The state weather bureau, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned last week of the gravity of Vinta but the warnings to evacuate were ignored by residents, local officials lamented.

Tembin struck less than a week after Tropical Storm Kai-Tak left 54 dead and 24 missing in the central Philippines, straining the disaster-prone nation's resources.

A spokeswoman from the Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council says the storm affected more than 70,000 people.

"It is unfortunate that another tropical cyclone made its presence felt so near Christmas", he said.

The deadliest typhoon to hit the country was Haiyan, which killed thousands and destroyed entire towns in heavily populated areas of the central Philippines in November 2013.

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