Tropical Storm Megi: At least 25 dead as devastating cyclone sweeps through Philippines

As many as 30,000 families are displaced following floods in central and southern provinces

Stuti Mishra
Tuesday 12 April 2022 08:01
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At least 25 dead as devastating cyclone sweeps through Philippines

Heavy rains and landslides have killed dozens of people after tropical cyclone storm Megi swept through the central and southern areas of the Philippines over the weekend.

At least 25 people have been reported dead so far, mostly due to landslides, authorities in the southeast Asian nation said on Monday, as heavy rains flooded many areas along the coast.

The bodies of 22 people were recovered from under the rubble after landslides in four villages, said Joemen Collado, the police chief of Baybay city in the central Leyte province. At least six people are missing with the police continuing a search operation in the area.

“Three other storm-related deaths were reported by the government’s main disaster-response agency in the southern provinces of Davao de Oro and Davao Oriental,” he told the DZBB radio network.

Mr Collado added: “In one village, a landslide occurred and other victims, unfortunately, were also swept away by the surge of water. There were at least six missing but there could be more.”

The Storm Megi, locally called Agaton, made landfall on Sunday with sustained winds of up to 65kmph and gusts of up to 80kmph. Megi is expected to weaken to 45kmph and move back out over the sea on Tuesday, the state weather bureau said.

Nearly 200 floods were reported in different areas in central and southern provinces over the weekend since the storm hit, displacing about 30,000 families, some of whom were moved to emergency shelters, officials said.

Coast guard, police and firefighters rescued villagers from flooded communities, including some who were trapped on their roofs, the authorities said.

Images shared by the local fire bureau on Monday showed rescuers wading through near partially submerged homes and digging for survivors in a landslide-hit area.

In central Cebu city, schools and work were suspended on Monday.

Mayor Michael Rama declared a state of calamity to allow the rapid release of emergency funds.

This is the first typhoon in 2022 to hit the storm-prone island nation, which sees around 20 such storms annually. The period of June to September is when storms occur frequently in the region, however, some storms have been reported in other seasons in the past too.

The archipelago lies in a Pacific region known as the “Ring of Fire,” where many of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur frequently.

The Philippines has recorded several deadly typhoons in recent years, including Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which claimed 6,300 lives. Known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Yolanda, it was one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded.

Additional reporting by agencies

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