Storm Usman: Dozens killed as heavy rains and landslides hit Philippines

There had been no tropical cyclone warning leaving people unprepared for the storm’s heavy rains

Jon Sharman
Monday 31 December 2018 16:37
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Filipino residents collect belongings from their damaged home at the landslide-hit community in Bulan, Sorsogon province
Filipino residents collect belongings from their damaged home at the landslide-hit community in Bulan, Sorsogon province

Nearly 70 people have reportedly been killed after a tropical storm lashed the Philippines and triggered a series of landslides.

Storm Usman may yet prove to have claimed more lives as rescue workers continue to clear affected areas, officials said.

Some 68 people have died, including 57 in the Bicol mountain region southeast of the capital Manila, the region’s civil defence director told the Agence France-Presse news agency. There had been no tropical cyclone warning leaving people unprepared for the storm’s heavy rains, he added.

A three-year-old boy was among the dead, said disaster agency spokesman Edgar Posada.

“The wind was not strong but it caused flooding and landslides,” he said.

A regional office of the Philippines disaster agency said it was working to confirm the deaths of 38 people in the Bicol region, located south of the main island of Luzon.

Thousands of passengers were stranded at seaports, airports and bus terminals as dozens of inter-island trips were cancelled.

About 40,000 people have been displaced, the BBC reported.

The tropical depression, which has since been downgraded to a low pressure area, left the Philippines on Sunday afternoon.

About 20 tropical cyclones hit the Philippines every year.

Additional reporting by agencies

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