Four dead as storm sweeps through central Philippines

Am ambulance negotiates a flooded street, Philippines

Am ambulance negotiates a flooded street, Philippines

Most of the victims died in landslides, including a family of three who were sleeping when their house was buried in Legazpi City in Albay province, 336 kilometres south-east of Manila, police said.

Numerous deaths were due to landslides and drowning, it added, saying floods had yet to recede even as the weather disturbance known locally as "Usman" weakened into a low pressure area.

Manila - Twenty-six people have been killed in landslides and floods caused by a tropical depression that brought heavy rains over the eastern Philippines, police and emergency officials said Sunday.

The deaths were mostly due to landslides and drowning in the Bicol region and Eastern Visayas in the central Philippines, according to the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. At least 57 people died in Bicol, where the almost ideal cone of Mayon Volcano is located.

There were five rubber boats and six trucks deployed to the said areas.

The national disaster agency said the weather system was "no longer affecting any part of the country" but forecast light rain for some areas. "In some areas the floods have reached the roofs of homes", Claudio Yucot, head of the Bicol region's office of civil defence, told AFP.

The tropical depression has destroyed infrastructure and displaced more than 40,000 people nationwide.

Jalad said at least 18 persons were also reported missing in the same regions while 12 individuals from Bicol and Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), were reported injured.

Thousands of passengers were stranded at seaports, airports and bus terminals as dozens of inter-island trips were cancelled.

Each year the Philippines is hit by an average of 20 cyclones causing floods, landslides and other accidents.

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