Devastating Storm Leaves 68 Dead in the Philippines
Manila – The death toll from a storm that struck the Philippines shortly after Christmas rose to 68, civil defence officials said Monday.
Fifty-seven people died in the mountainous Bicol region, southeast of Manila, while 11 were killed in the central island of Samar, mostly due to landslides and drownings, officials added.
“I am afraid this [death toll] will still go up because there are a lot of areas we still have to clear,” said Claudio Yucot, Bicol civil defence director.
The weather disturbance locally named Usman hit the country on Saturday, bringing heavy rains that caused floods and loosened the soil and triggering landslides in some areas.
Although Usman has since moved westward away from the country, many affected areas were still experiencing seasonal rains, hampering rescue and recovery efforts, he added.
At least 17 people are still missing and more than 40,000 were displaced nationwide due to the storm, the civil defence office said.