MANILA ( Associated Press) – The death toll from massive flooding in parts of the Philippines over the Christmas weekend has risen to 51, the national disaster response agency said Monday, as they struggled to contain those affected.
Images on social media showed people in Misamis Occidental province in northern Mindanao sweeping thick mud off the floors of their homes. In the coastal city of Kabul-Anan, coconut palms were uprooted and huts made of lightweight materials were almost leveled.
The northern region of Mindanao in the south bore the brunt of the disaster, with 25 deaths, according to the National Council for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. Most of the deaths were due to drowning and landslides, and among the missing were fishermen whose boats capsized.
Flood waters receded in most areas hit by the bad weather, disrupting Christmas celebrations in the eastern, central and southern Philippines. But more than 8,600 of the nearly 600,000 people affected live in emergency shelters.
The disaster management agency said the floods had damaged more than 4,500 homes along with roads and bridges and that power and water supplies were still disrupted in some areas. Officials said the government sent food and other essentials to flood-affected residents, deployed heavy equipment for cleaning operations and provided sheet iron and home repair kits. Teams were dispatched from the capital, Manila, to help communities with limited clean water install water filtration systems.
The Disaster Management Council said at least 22 cities and municipalities have declared states of disaster. This measure will allow the release of emergency funds and accelerate rehabilitation efforts.