MANILA — Rescue employees battled intermittent heavy rain to achieve many individuals nonetheless lacking Wednesday, three days after Tropical Storm Megi pummeled the nation, inflicting widespread landslides and flooding within the central Philippines.
Hardest hit was the town of Baybay in central Leyte Province, the place landslides buried a distant neighborhood, and left 48 individuals lifeless as of Wednesday, based on the police. Fifteen others have been swept away by floods in 5 different central and southern provinces and are nonetheless lacking, officers mentioned.
In all, search and rescue groups have been in search of practically 30 individuals nonetheless unaccounted for, officers mentioned.
Mark Timbal, a spokesman for the Nationwide Catastrophe Threat Discount and Administration Council, mentioned native officers in Leyte had pre-emptively evacuated many residents in Baybay into areas that have been protected — or so that they thought.
“The landslide reached past the hazard-prone areas,” Mr. Timbal mentioned in Manila. “A number of the residents had evacuated there and didn’t count on the landslide to achieve that location.”
“We didn’t foresee the devastation caused by this landslide,” he added.
Whereas the storm has moved out of the Philippines, intermittent rains have continued, hampering search and rescue efforts.
Baybay’s mayor, Jose Carlos Cari, mentioned he feared that the casualty figures might rise. “We’re nonetheless looking for many individuals lacking,” he mentioned. “Our responders are wading by way of mud.”
The close by city of Abuyog was additionally hit by a landslide. Floodwaters had receded, however officers mentioned practically 80 % of 1 village there had been worn out.
“After the landslide, the remaining 20 % of homes alongside the coast have been swamped by a storm surge,” mentioned Lemuel Gin Traya, Abuyog’s mayor. “It was one enormous wave.”
All in all, about 9 areas and an estimated 139,000 individuals within the Philippines’ jap seaboard have been affected, the catastrophe reduction company in Manila mentioned.
The Philippines sits on the so-called storm belt, and endures an estimated 20 storms a 12 months, some devastating.
In December, about 400 individuals have been killed when Hurricane Rai pummeled the central area. And in November 2013, Hurricane Haiyan slammed the central Philippines, killing 1000’s.