The torrential rains occurred as a result of Tropical Storm Nalgae – 16th storm to hit the country this year . The vitims were swept away by thefloodwaters and debris-filled mudslides.
At least 42 people were killed and more than a dozen are missing following flash floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains in the southern Philippine province of Maguindanao, officials said on Friday.
The victims died due to drowning or were swept away by floodwaters and debris-filled mudslides, said Naguib Sinarimbo, the interior minister for a five-province Muslim autonomous region.
According to forecasters, the torrential rains occurred as a result of Tropical Storm Nalgae which was due to hit the country’s eastern coast on Saturday. This was the 16thstorm to hit the country this year.
Given the crisis triggered by the storm, dozens of provinces and cities in the Philippines were under storm alerts including the capital, Manila. The country’s coast guard has also barred fishing and cargo boats and inter-island ferries from venturing out to sea, stranding thousands of passengers.
Government forecasters said about 5,000 people were protectively evacuated away from the path of the storm.
While rescue operations were temporarily suspended overnight, the officials expect that the death toll might cross a three-figure mark.
“Based on the assessment on the ground, at that specific site, there were many (who got buried). The number might hit 80, but we are hoping it won’t reach that number,” Sinarimbo told Reuters.