Death toll from Philippine landslides, floods climbs to 85

 Death toll from Philippine landslides, floods climbs to 85

Emergency teams were on Wednesday mobilised to areas devastated by landslides and floods in eastern Philippines, where the death toll has reached 85, officials said.

Search, rescue and relief operations have been hampered by constant heavy rains recently, but officials are hoping to reach more communities as the weather begins to clear.

At least 20 people were still missing from the landslides, according to Edgar Posadas, a spokesman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction Office.

Sixty-nine people were reported to have died in the eastern region of Bicol, while 16 others were killed in the nearby region of Eastern Visayas and other areas in landslides and floods, Posadas said.
In Camarines Sur province, at least 50 houses were buried in a landslide in the mountainous town of Sagnay, where emergency workers recovered 30 bodies, according to the Municipal Disaster Office.

One district that was badly hit was cut off by the landslides, and authorities planned to reach the area by boat, the office said.

Landslides also prevented the distribution of relief materials to at least four villages in the nearby province of Albay, where 14 people were killed, according to provincial Governor Francis Bichara.

“We will try to reach these areas by boats instead,” Bichara said.

Nearly 25,000 people were displaced by the landslides and floods, which were triggered by heavy rains as a result of a tropical depression few days after Christmas.

Ayomide Oyewole

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