Sun | Apr 22, 2018

Storm leaves 75 dead, dozens missing in southern Philippines

Published:Sunday | December 24, 2017 | 12:00 AM
In this photo made from a video last Friday, villagers cross raging flood waters in a section of southern Philippines.

ZAMBOANGA, (AP):

A tropical storm in the southern Philippines unleashed flash floods that swept away people and houses and set off landslides, leaving at least 75 people dead and 58 others missing, officials said yesterday.

Most of the deaths from Tropical Storm Tembin were in the hard-hit provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur and on the Zamboanga Peninsula.

It's the latest disaster to hit the Philippines, which is battered by about 20 typhoons and storms each year, making the archipelago that lies on the Pacific typhoon belt one of the world's most disaster-prone countries.

A search-and-rescue operation was under way for more than 30 people swept away by flash floods in the fishing village of Anungan, yesterday. Five bodies have been recovered so far in the village.

"The flood waters from the mountain came down so fast and swept away people and houses," said Mayor Bong Edding.

"It's really sad because Christmas is just a few days away, but these things happen beyond our control."

Edding blamed years of logging in the mountains near Anungan for the tragedy that unfolded last Friday, adding that he and other officials would move to halt the logging operations.