Manila: Nearly 90 people have been killed and dozens are missing after a tropical storm hit the southern Philippines, triggering mudslides and flooding, police and disaster officials said on Saturday.
The casualties were all on the main southern island of Mindanao, they said.
“We’re are still trying to confirm reports of a farming village buried by a mudslide due to heavy rains brought by the typhoon,” said Ryan Cabus, an official in Tubod town.
He said power and communication lines to the area had been cut, complicating rescue efforts.
Emergency workers, soldiers, police and volunteers were being mobilised to search for survivors, clear debris, and restore power and communications.
The nearly 90 deaths were reported in various places including 39 in Tubod, El Salvador and Munai towns in Lanao del Norte province.
On Friday, 19 deaths were reported near the town of Tubod in Mindanao, where Tropical Storm Tembin unleashed flash floods and mudslides that erased a remote village from the map, police said.
“The river rose and most of the homes were swept away. The village is no longer there,” said Tubod police officer Gerry Parami.
Parts of Cagayan de Oro city were also submerged in floodwater.
Police, soldiers and volunteers used shovels to dig through mud and debris in a bid to recover bodies in Dalama, a farming village of about 2,000 people near Tubod, Parami added.
Boulders brought down by flash floods also buried around 40 houses in the town of Piagapo, killing at least 10 people, said civil defence officer Saripada Pacasum.
“We’ve sent rescuers but they’re making little progress due to the rocks,” he said.
In Zamboanga del Norte province, police said 30 people had been killed in the town of Sibuco town and six in Salug.
Three people were killed in Bukidnon province, while politicians in Lanao del Sur province said seven people had drowned in flash floods there.
Sixty-four people were reported missing in floods and landslides, according to a tally of reports form officials and police.
After slicing across Mindanao on Friday, Tembin sped west over the Sulu Sea with gusts of 95 kilometres an hour.
It was forecast to smash into the tip of the western island of Palawan late on Saturday, the state weather service said.
The storm would have moved clear of the Philippines by Monday, it said.
Tembin struck less than a week after Tropical Storm Kai-Tak devastated the central Philippines, leaving 54 dead and 24 missing.
With inputs from Reuters and AFP