COTABATO, Philippines ( Associated Press) – Flash floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains have affected a province in the southern Philippines, killing at least 42 people, leaving 16 others missing and some residents trapped on their roofs , officials said on Friday.
Naguib Sinarimbo, the interior minister of the Muslim Autonomous Region of the five provinces, said most of the victims were swept away by floodwaters and drowned or killed by debris-laden mudslides in the three towns of Maguindanao, the worst-hit region. It is ruled by the East. – Guerrilla.
Forecasters said the rain was caused by Tropical Storm Nalge, which was expected to hit the country’s east coast from the Pacific on Saturday.
“The overnight rain was unusual, it came down the slopes of the mountains and flowed into rivers,” Sinarimbo told The Associated Press over the phone.
“I hope the death toll won’t go up much, but there are still some communities that are still unreachable,” he said. He said that since Friday morning the rains have subsided, triggering the flooding. in different areas.
According to Sinarimbo, based on reports from mayors, governors and emergency officials, 27 people drowned, mostly in the neighboring coastal towns of Datu Odin Sinsuat, 10 in Datu Blah Sinsuat, and five others in Upi, all in Maguindanao.
Sinarimbo said six people were missing in Datu Blah Sinsut and 10 others in Upi.
The rain was caused by Tropical Storm Nalge, which is expected to reach the east coast of the Philippines from the Pacific Ocean on Saturday morning.
About 5,000 people were evacuated as a precaution from the path of the storm, which is the 16th storm to hit the country this year. According to government forecasters and other officials, the storm is not expected to reach typhoon status.
About 20 typhoons and hurricanes hit the Philippine archipelago every year. Located in the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire”, a region that has seen numerous volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, the Southeast Asian country is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world.