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More than 130 Dead in Philippine Storm, Flooding

More than 130 Dead in Philippine Storm, Flooding

Saturday, 23 December, 2017 - 12:00
People help to rescue flood victims in Lanao del Norte, Philippines, December 22, 2017 in this image taken from video footage obtained from social media. Aclimah Cabugatan Disumala/via REUTERS

Mudslides and flooding triggered by Tembin tropical storm that hit southern Philippines leaving more than 130 people dead.

As death toll keeps on rising, dozens are reported to be missing, according to officials on Saturday.

Rescuers are pulling dozens of bodies from a swollen river, police said.

The Philippines is pummelled by 20 big storms each year on average.

Disaster officials said many residents had not taken into serious consideration the warnings to leave coastal areas and riverbanks.

"The river rose and most of the homes were swept away. The village is no longer there," police officer Gerry Parami told AFP by telephone from nearby Tubod town.

Most of casualties were caused late on Friday, all on the main southern island of Mindanao, officials said, adding three provinces were hardest hit.

Police, soldiers and volunteers used shovels to dig through mud and debris as they searched for bodies in the village of Dalama.

“Many people were swept to the sea as flood waters quickly rose due to the high tide,” Manuel Luis Ochotorena, a disaster agency official, said, Reuters reported.

“They never heeded the warnings. They thought it was a weak storm but it dumped more rains.”

Tembin struck less than a week after Tropical Storm Kai-Tak left 54 dead and 24 missing in the central Philippines, straining the disaster-prone nation's resources.

In 2013, super typhoon Haiyan killed nearly 8,000 people and left 200,000 families homeless.

"It is unfortunate that another tropical cyclone ... made its presence felt so near Christmas," Harry Roque, President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman, said in a statement.

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