Philippines flood fatality toll rises as search for missing persons continues
Christmas celebrations are disrupted by flash floods brought on by heavy rain, and more than 45,000 people need shelter.
Thirteen people have died as a result of Christmas Day storms in the southern Philippines, and 23 more are still missing as the floodwaters begin to recede.
Following two days of torrential rain that ruined Christmas celebrations for more than 166,000 people and forced more than 45,000 to seek shelter in evacuation centers, the majority of the fatalities were caused by drowning in flash floods, according to a report released on Tuesday by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Social media posts showed coastguard, police, and fire officers wading into waist-deep water and escorting locals along landslide-affected regions. Overflowing rivers covered some roadways in water.
The head of the disaster agency in Clarin, a town in the southern province of Misamis Occidental, Carmelito Heray, told the DZBB radio station that rescue efforts were still underway and an assessment of the damage to farmland was being made.
The nation, which is primarily Catholic, did not experience a tropical storm during its major festival. But in the southern Philippines, a shear line—an area where warm and cold winds converge—led to the formation of rain clouds.
According to Clarin town Mayor Emeterio Roa, "the greatest devastation here is livestock because their adult pigs, chickens, goats, and cows are now gone."
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