Philippines landslides kill 58, with death toll rising

Rescuers dig up bodies buried by avalanches

Landslides in the Philippines have killed at least 58 people and the death toll is expected to rise. Rescuers were digging up bodies after heavy rain caused avalanches, landslides and floods in central and southern parts of the country.

Dozens remain missing and almost 200 people were injured in the city of Baybay and across Leyte province, officials said.

Efforts were continuing to remove large chunks of earth to find the people under the rubble. The clearer weather on Wednesday allowed the work to expand as heavy equipment arrived in Baybay.

“We’re looking for so many more missing people,” Baybay mayor Jose Carlos Cari said.

Rescuers have been using their bare hands and shovels to reach victims buried by the landslides.

A Philippine Coastguard video shared on Facebook on Tuesday showed rescuers carrying a mud-caked woman on a stretcher from one of the devastated villages, while other victims were piggybacked to safety.

The military has joined coastguard, police and fire protection personnel in the search and rescue efforts, which have been hampered by bad weather.

Rescuers attempt to reach the village of Kantagnos in Baybay town, the Philippines, which was almost entirely buried by landslides after heavy rains brought by tropical storm Megi. AFP

Tropical storm Megi hit the central province of Leyte before a series of landslides ensued, smashing into farming settlements and devastating entire communities.

Megi came shortly after another tropical storm Agaton hit parts of the archipelago and four months after super typhoon Rai devastated swathes of the country, killing more than 400 and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.

Scientists have long given warnings that typhoons are strengthening as the planet becomes warmer due to climate change.

The Philippines — ranked among the most vulnerable nations to such environmental effects — is hit by an average of 20 storms every year.

Updated: April 13, 2022, 8:31 AM
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