MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Heavy rains caused by a summer tropical depression killed at least 25 people in the central and southern Philippines, mostly due to landslides, officials said Monday.
Twenty-two villagers died in landslides in four villages in Baybay city in central Leyte province on Sunday and Monday, city police chief Lt. Col. Joemen Collado said. At least six other people were reported missing in the landslides and a search was underway, he said.
Three other storm-related deaths were reported by the government’s main disaster-response agency in the southern provinces of Davao de Oro and Davao Oriental.
“In one village, a landslide occurred and other victims, unfortunately, were also swept away by the surge of water,” Collado told the DZBB radio network. “There were at least six missing but there could be more.”
Nearly 200 floods were reported in different areas in central and southern provinces over the weekend, displacing about 30,000 families, some of which were moved to emergency shelters, officials said.
Coast guard, police and firefighters rescued some villagers in flooded communities, including some who were trapped on their roofs. In central Cebu city, schools and work were suspended Monday and Mayor Michael Rama declared a state of calamity to allow the rapid release of emergency funds.
At least 20 storms and typhoons batter the Philippines each year, mostly during the rainy season that begins around June. Some storms have hit even during the scorching summer months in recent years.
The disaster-prone Southeast Asian nation also lies on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where many of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.