Philippines floods cause at least 25 deaths and damage

Manila, Philippines — The death toll from heavy rains and floods that devastated parts of the Philippines over the Christmas weekend rose to 25, the Philippines’ National Disaster Response Agency said, while 26 others were still missing.

Nearly 400,000 people have been affected, with more than 81,000 still in shelters and nine others injured, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

The council added that 16 of the 25 deaths reported were in the Northern Mindanao region in the south, while 12 of the 26 missing were from the eastern Bicol region.

State weather agency PAGASA said a fault line – where warm air meets cold air – has caused rain in parts of the eastern, central and southern Philippines.

Weather disturbances have disrupted Christmas celebrations in the affected provinces, with photos from the southern province of Misamis Occidental showing rescuers carrying an elderly woman on a plastic chair as they wade through a flooded street. Some residents in the province were seen clinging to lifebuoys as coast guard rescuers pulled them through the deep floodplain with ropes.

The Disaster Management Council said 1,196 homes were damaged by the floods, while 123 road sections and 12 bridges were affected. Some areas still do not have electricity or water.

While the fault line’s effect weakens, a new low pressure area could bring moderate to heavy rain over the next 24 hours in areas affected by the Christmas weekend flooding. The weather office said on Wednesday that flooding and landslides were likely, especially in areas with significant prior rainfall.

About 20 typhoons make landfall each year in the Philippines, one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries. The archipelago is located on the “Ring of Fire” along the Pacific Rim, where many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.


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