Landslides and flooding have killed at least 31 people and nine others remain missing as heavy rain from the approaching Tropical Storm Nalgae lashed the southern Philippines.
Torrential rainstorms unleashed flash flooding that carried uprooted trees, rocks and mud into rural communities around Cotabato, a city of 300,000 people on Mindanao island.
Naguib Sinarimbo, civil defence chief for the regional government, said on Friday that; “The amount of rainwater that came down was unusually (heavy) and flowed down mountainsides and swelled rivers."
He added that most of the victims were swept away by floodwaters and drowned, or were hit by debris-laden mudslides. Sinarimbo confirmed that the death toll in the storm-hit areas had jumped to 31 from the earlier tally of 13.
The army has deployed trucks to help stranded residents in Cotabato and eight nearby towns, provincial civil defence chief Nasrullah Imam said.
The state weather office in Manila said the rain storms were related to Tropical Storm Nalgae, which is headed towards the northern Philippines, and the civil defence office said nearly 5,000 people have been evacuated from flood and landslide-prone areas ahead of Nalgae’s expected landfall on Saturday or Sunday.
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