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Philippines: At least 42 killed as Storm followed by heavy rains cause flash floods, landslides

Government meteorologist Sam Duran said Friday afternoon it was 180 kilometers from the eastern city of Caterman in northern Samar province and is moving to the northwest, bringing winds of 85 kilometers per hour.

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

Cotabato, Philippines: At least 72 people have been killed in floods and landslides triggered by overnight rains in a southern province of the Philippines. Apart from this, nine people are reported missing. It has been told that due to this rain a flood situation has arisen in the province, due to which people are trapped in their homes.

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A torrent of rain, laden with uprooted trees, rocks and mud, caused flash floods overnight in mainly rural communities around Cotabato, a city of 300,000 people.

According to Naguib Sinarimbo, the interior minister of five Muslim autonomous provinces administered by former guerrilla militias, three cities in Maguindanao province are the most affected by the natural disaster. Most of the deaths here have been caused by people drowning in the floods or getting buried in the rubble.

Regional government spokesman and civil defense chief Naguib Sinarimbo told sources that seven people were missing. He said ten of the dead were from the city of Datu Blah Sinsuat on the island of Mindanao. Rescue teams retrieved three more bodies in the neighboring town of Datu Odin Sinsut. Mr. Sinarimbo said, “The water started entering the houses before dawn. This is the first time this has happened to us.” Rescuers in rubber boats had to rescue some residents from the roofs, Mr Sinarimbo said.

Government meteorologist Sam Duran said Friday afternoon it was 180 kilometers from the eastern city of Caterman in northern Samar province and is moving to the northwest, bringing winds of 85 kilometers per hour.

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More than 7,000 people were evacuated ahead of the storm’s landfall, the civil defence office said.

The coast guard has also suspended ferry services through most of the archipelago nation due to rough seas, stranding hundreds of vessels and thousands of passengers at ports.

The civil aviation office said it has shelved more than 100 flights so far.

The storm struck at the beginning of a long weekend in the Philippines, when millions return to their hometowns to visit the graves of their relatives.

The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 major storms each year that kill hundreds of people and keep vast regions in perpetual poverty.

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Scientists have warned that such storms, which also kill livestock and destroy key infrastructure, are becoming more powerful as the world gets warmer because of climate change.

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