Philippines deadly storm and landslides kill more than 60

Geraldine Edwards
January 2, 2019

Fifty of the fatalities were reported in the Bicol region and six in the Eastern Visayas region.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) also said 16 are missing, and 12 were injured in Mimaropa, Bicol Region, and Eastern Visayas in the aftermath of Tropical Depression Usman.

A regional office of the disaster agency said it was working to confirm the deaths of 38 people in the Bicol region, located south of the main island of Luzon.

Numerous deaths were due to landslides and drowning, it added, saying floods had yet to recede even as the weather disturbance known locally as "Usman" weakened into a low pressure area.

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Three members of a family were buried in a landslide in Legazpi City southeast of Manila while a woman was crushed by another landslide in Bulan town as heavy rains brought by the storm loosened the earth, the government's office of civil defence said.

Two landslides were reported in Camarines Sur, where bodies have been recovered.

While the storm has been downgraded to a low-pressure system, monsoon rain may still trigger floods and landslides, the weather bureau said.

Dozens of people were killed this weekend as Tropical Depression Usman swept over the central Philippines, triggering landslides and flooding.

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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.

Floodwaters were reportedly 20-feet deep in some areas.

Thousands of passengers were stranded at seaports, airports and bus terminals as dozens of inter-island trips were cancelled. The weather is expected to improve in most parts of the country by Monday.

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