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World

11 people killed in Philippine storms: disaster agency

Published January 10, 2023
In this handout photo from Catubig Municipal Information Office taken on January 10, 2023 shows people crossing a damaged bridge in Catubig, Northern Samar due to the heavy rains brought by a low pressure area. Photo: AFP
In this handout photo from Catubig Municipal Information Office taken on January 10, 2023 shows people crossing a damaged bridge in Catubig, Northern Samar due to the heavy rains brought by a low pressure area. Photo: AFP

MANILA: At least 11 people have died in storms across the Philippines in the past week, with more heavy rain expected in already sodden regions of the disaster-prone country, authorities said Tuesday.

Bad weather has plagued the country’s southern and central islands since the Christmas weekend when downpours triggered flooding and landslides that left 52 people dead and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

Since January 3, back-to-back storms have killed 11 people as floodwaters swept through houses, cut roads and swamped crops, the civil defence office said.

Philippine death toll from Christmas rains and floods rises to 13

The state weather forecaster warned Tuesday of “serious flooding” in low-lying areas and landslides in the mountains of the central island of Samar.

Heavy rain has already inundated villages, with water levels reaching three metres (10 feet) in some places.

So far, one person was missing and more than 2,200 people had been evacuated from their homes, said Josh Echano, Northern Samar provincial disaster officer.

The number of evacuees was expected to rise.

“The flood is progressing since yesterday, it’s not subsiding,” Echano said.

“This could be fatal. This could be one of the worst (floods).”

The Philippines is ranked among the most vulnerable nations to the impacts of climate change, and scientists have warned that storms are becoming more powerful as the world gets warmer.

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