At Least 120 Dead, 160 Missing After Tropical Storm Hits Philippines

Dec 24, 2017

More than 120 people are dead in the southern Philippines after a tropical storm caused massive flash flooding. At least another 160 people are still missing, according to the Associated Press.

Mudslides and landslides resulting from Tropical Storm Tembin's heavy rainfall carried people and houses away.

Officials from the Department of Interior and Local Government told the AP, that the Lanao del Norte and Zamboanga del Norte provinces reported the highest death tolls. Officials in Lanao del Norte reported 64 deaths, while those in Zamboanga del Norte reported 29. The province of Lanao del Sur, where at least 21 deaths were recorded, was also hit hard by the storm.

Tembin, also known as Vinta to the locals, strengthened into a typhoon Saturday night, and sustained maximum winds of 75 mph and gusts of 90 mph.

By Sunday morning, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, announced that the typhoon had "moved outside the Philippine area of responsibility."

The service still warned of heavy rains and potential flooding and landslides for residents in the Palawan province, and cautioned against sea travel.

The Philippine Inquirer reports that at least 57,000 people, who evacuated because of the storm, were still being cared for by the Department of Social Welfare and Development in more than 200 evacuation centers.

On Thursday, at least five people were killed when a ferry sank, after rough seas capsized the ship near the northeastern province of Quezon. Search and rescue operations saved at least 250 others.

More than 30 people were killed earlier in the week when Tropical Storm Kai-Tak hit the central Philippines, according to The New York Times.

The Philippines get hit by approximately 20 typhoons each year, making it one of the world's most disaster-prone countries, according to the AP.

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