Tropical storm Nalgae has left 98 dead so far according to local reports, dozens of people are estimated missing, some possibly buried by a landslide.

In addition to the missing and dead, it is estimated that more than a million people have been affected by the floods in various locations. At least 53 of the 98 deceased were from Maguindánao, Bangsamoro, a town that was affected by unusually heavy rains unleashed by the passage of the storm.

A large contingent of rescuers with bulldozers and backhoes resumed recovery work in the southern town of Kusiong, in Maguindanao, where it is feared that between 80 and 100 people, including entire families, have been buried as a result of a landslide or carried away by the flash floods that began Thursday night, said Naguib Sinarimbo, interior minister of an autonomous Muslim region ruled by former separatist guerrillas under a peace deal.

The main government agency for disaster response also reported that 69 people were injured and at least 63 are missing.

The storm affected more than 1 million people, including more than 912,000 residents who fled to shelters or relatives’ houses. More than 4,100 homes and 16,260 hectares of rice and other crops were damaged by the floods at a time when the country is preparing for an imminent food crisis due to global disruptions in supplies, authorities said.

Sinarimbo said that the official number of missing did not include those feared to be missing in the huge avalanche that hit Kusiongbecause there could be entire families buried, with no one to provide names and details to the authorities.

Impacts in the Philippines despite warning signs

The catastrophe in Kusiong, populated mostly by the Teduray ethnic minority, was especially tragic because its more than 2,000 residents held disaster preparedness drills every year for decades; in order to be ready in the event of a tsunami. But they were not prepared for the dangers that could come from Mount Minandar, Sinarimbo said. The town is in its skirts.

“When people They heard the warning bells they ran and gathered at a church on high ground,” Sinarimbo told the AP on Saturday, citing accounts from Kusiong villagers.

“The problem was that it was not a tsunami that flooded them, but the large amount of water and mud that came down from the mountain“, he pointed.

In August 1976, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the Gulf of Moro occurred around midnight left thousands dead and devastated towns coastlines in one of the deadliest natural disasters in Philippine history. Since then the drills have been carried out.

With AP information



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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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