The toll from landslides and floods caused by the tropical storm Megi in the Philippines rose to 80 on Wednesday, AFP reported. Scores of people are missing, officials said.
The storm made landfall on Sunday with sustained winds of up to 65 kilometres per hour, CNN reported.
Megi is so far the strongest tropical storm to hit the archipelago this year. It struck four months after Super Typhoon Rai destroyed the nation’s south-east islands and impacted nearly 5,00,000 people in December, according to the BBC.
Lemuel Traya, mayor of the Abuyog municipality, told AFP that 150 people were missing in the coastal village of Pilar. “I have to be honest, we are no longer expecting survivors,” Traya added.
Authorities said that Megi triggered landslides and pushed homes into the sea.
The mayor said that 250 people were rescued by boat and lodged in evacuation centres.
Ara Mae Canuto, a 22-year-old resident of Pilar village, told AFP that she “nearly drowned” after a landslide struck the region. “I swallowed dirt, and my ears and nose are full of mud,” she said, adding that her father had died and her mother is missing.
‘We’re looking for many missing people’
The highest number of deaths was reported from the central province of Leyte, where a series of landslides occurred, AFP reported.
Nearly 200 people were injured in Leyte’s city of Baybay. Its mayor Jose Carlos Cari said that search operations are going on in full force as the weather cleared on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.
“We’re looking for so many more missing people,” Cari added.
At least 47 dead bodies were recovered from the debris in six Baybay villages, military and local officials said.
Mostly during monsoons that start around June, Philippines is hit by at least 20 storms every year, the Associated Press reported. However, some storms have hit the archipelago in summers too.