Philippines death toll jumps to 75 after floods and landslides

Nearly 25,000 people were displaced by the landslides and floods in 13 provinces
Nearly 25,000 people were displaced by the landslides and floods in 13 provinces

02 January, 2019

More than 22,000 people were displaced by the bad weather, which also knocked out electricity in numerous affected areas, regional civil defence officials said.

While it did not have powerful winds it brought heavy rains that caused floods and loosened the soil, triggering landslides in some areas.

Local media have reported dozens missing or trapped by the landslides.

More than 60 people died in the typhoon, many buried in landslides in Benguet province north of Manila.

In nearby Tiwi town, also in Albay province, four people were also killed in a separate landslide, the regional disaster relief agency said.

"Most of the affected areas are underwater".

Ahead of the storm, tens of thousands of people in six provinces fled their homes, after official warnings.

Each year the Philippines is hit by an average of 20 cyclones
Each year the Philippines is hit by an average of 20 cyclones

But he said it had been raining in Bicol even before Usman made landfall and brought torrential rains and landslides.

Clearing operations are underway on roads rendered impassable, and as of Sunday morning, the Philippine Coast Guard said thousands of passengers remain stranded in seaports nationwide.

Although Usman has since moved westward away from the country, many affected areas were still experiencing seasonal rains, hampering rescue and recovery efforts, he added.

The bad weather will likely also affect Manila and other parts of the country, which could dampen usually rowdy New Year's Eve celebrations.

Disaster agency spokesman Edgar Posadas said the winds from Usman were "not strong", but their effects had left widespread devastation.

The worst storm to hit the Philippines in a generation occurred in 2013, when Super Typhoon Yolanda killed more than 6,000 people and displaced almost 4 million others.

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