COTABATO, Philippines (AFP) – Landslides and flooding killed 31 people as heavy rain from an approaching storm lashed the southern Philippines, a disaster official said on Friday.
The storm unleashed flash floods carrying uprooted trees, rocks and mud overnight in mainly rural communities around Cotabato, a city of 300,000 people on Mindanao island.
Many residents were caught by surprise by the rapidly rising floodwaters, the spokesman and civil defence chief for the regional government Naguib Sinarimbo told AFP.
“The water started entering the houses before dawn,” Sinarimbo said, confirming that the death toll in the storm-hit areas had risen to 31 from the earlier tally of 13. Rescuers retrieved 16 bodies from Datu Odin Sinsuat, 10 from Datu Blah Sinsuat and five from Upi town, he told reporters.
More details on Weekend’s Borneo Bulletin