Thirteen killed as storm lashes southern Philippines

Landslides and flooding killed 13 people as heavy rain from an approaching tropical storm lashed the southern Philippines on Friday, a disaster official said.

Ten of the dead were from the flood-hit town of Datu Blah Sinsuat on Mindanao island, Naguib Sinarimbo, the spokesman and civil defence chief for the regional government, told AFP.

Rescuers in rubber boats retrieved another three bodies in the neighbouring town of Datu Odin Sinsuat as they combed the flooded areas around Cotabato city, Sinarimbo said.

“We’re hoping the toll will end there,” he added.

However, rescue teams including military units were also checking other areas where flooding and landslides had been reported.

Fishermen unload their catch along the bay in Sorsogon, in the Philippines’ Sorsogon province on October 28, 2022, ahead of the expected landfall of Tropical Storm Nalgae. (Photo by Charism SAYAT / AFP)

Heavy rain began late Thursday in the impoverished region, which is under Muslim self-rule after decades of separatist armed rebellion.

The state weather office in Manila said it was partly caused by Tropical Storm Nalgae, far to the northeast.

Nalgae was headed towards the northern Philippines, where the civil defence office said nearly 5,000 people were evacuated from flood- and landslide-prone areas ahead of an expected landfall on Saturday or Sunday.

© Agence France-Presse