Floods in the Philippines leave 51 dead and more than a dozen missing
Manila, Philippines — The death toll in massive floods that devastated parts of the Philippines over Christmas weekend has risen to 51, with 19 others missing, the national disaster response agency said on Monday, as affected residents are struggling to get back on their feet.
Photos on social media showed residents of Misamis Occidental province in northern Mindanao sweeping thick mud from the floor of their homes. In the seaside village of Cabol-anonan, coconut trees were uprooted and huts made of lightweight materials were almost flattened.
The northern region of Mindanao in the south was hardest hit by the disaster, reporting 25 deaths, according to the National Council for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. Most of the deaths are due to drownings and landslides, and among those missing were fishermen whose boats capsized.
Flooding has subsided in most areas affected by severe weather that disrupted Christmas celebrations in the eastern, central and southern Philippines. But more than 8,600 of the estimated 600,000 people affected remain in emergency shelters.
More than 4,500 homes were damaged by the floods, along with roads and bridges, and some areas still had power and water cut off, the disaster management agency said. The government has sent food and other basic necessities to flood-affected residents, deployed heavy equipment for demining operations and provided iron sheets and shelter repair kits, officials said. . Teams from the capital Manila have been sent to help communities with little drinking water to set up water filtration systems.
At least 22 cities and municipalities have declared a state of calamity, the disaster management council said. This decision will release emergency funds and accelerate rehabilitation efforts.
A shear line – the point where warm and cold air meet – triggered heavy rains in parts of the country last week, causing flooding, the state weather office said.