Tropical storm Megi: Death tolls rises from Philippines landslides as rescuers hunt for survivors

Hundreds of thousand have been displaced during to the power storm

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Wednesday 13 April 2022 10:12
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At least 25 dead as devastating cyclone sweeps through Philippines

The death toll from incessant rains and landslides triggered by storm Megi in the Philippines has risen to 56 with dozens still missing and tens of thousands displaced, authorities said on Wednesday.

The strongest cyclone to hit the archipelago this year injured at least 200 when the storm swept through the southern and central part of the nation this weekend and displaced more than 42,000 people, who were moved to evacuation centres.

Over 100,000 people, primarily in the southern and eastern part of the nation have been by the storm, authorities added.

Megi made landfall as a tropical storm on Calicoan Island in the province on Sunday with maximum sustained winds of 47mph.

Rescuers were still continuing their efforts to find survivors in the flooded regions as images on social media showed bodies, including those of children, being pulled from under thick mud and debris.

The efforts were mostly focused on the mountainous Baybay city in the central Leyte province, which has seen the majority of casualties so far, according to police and disaster agencies.

Landslides and overflowing rivers destroyed houses and buried people alive, the city’s mayor Jose Carlos Cari said, adding that at least 47 people were killed in the region.

Spokesperson for the national disaster agency Mark Timbal said rescuers were cautioned as the risk of landslides was high in some areas due to heavy rain.

The army, police and other agencies were all pressed into the rescue operation. “We are saddened by this dreadful incident that caused an unfortunate loss of lives and destruction of properties,” army brigade commander Noel Vestuir said.

"The landslides reached far beyond the hazard area, up to relatively safer areas of the community," he told DZRH radio station.

Philippine Coast Guard shows coast guard personnel evacuating local residents

Health officers have also raised concerns over the shortage of clean drinking water and healthcare capacity.

"Water systems here have been bogged down so our problem is drinking water," Norberto Oja, a health officer in Baybay, told the radio station.

The city mayor added that "there's aid like food and medicines but the problem is management in evacuation centres".

The Philippines, located in the Pacific region known as the “Ring of Fire,” sees an average of 20 tropical storms annually. In December 2021, category five typhoon Rai ravaged central provinces, leaving 405 dead and nearly 1,400 injured.

Earlier in 2013, the island nation was devastated by typhoon Haiyan, which claimed 6,300 lives.

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