Rescuers in the Philippines have recovered eight more bodies from widespread floods and landslides caused by heavy rains, raising the nationwide death toll to 17, rescuers said today.
Four corpses were pulled from a village buried by a landslide near Bislig city on the southern island of Mindanao on Wednesday, five days into a near-continuous downpour, local civil defence official Blanche Gobenciong told reporters.
A man and a woman both drowned when two boats capsized off the southern city of Surigao and off the southern island of Dinagat, while the bodies of two men were fished out in separate areas of the Agusan river basin of Mindanao, she added.
The civil defence office in Manila earlier reported six deaths from landslides, floods, storm surges and sea mishaps on the eastern island of Samar, one in the Mindanao city of Cagayan de Oro, and one each on Panay and Catanduanes islands.
Nine other people are missing in Samar and nearby Leyte islands, it said.
The government agency said a cold front on the eastern seaboard of the Southeast Asian archipelago had triggered continuous rains in the seven days to January 13.
Rising waters and landslides have disrupted the lives of more than 191,000 people, some 21,000 of whom sought refuge elsewhere, the civil defence office said.
Among the flooded areas were the southern cities of Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog and Oroquieta.
The World Food Programme, responding to appeals for help from local governments, is to provide up to 630 tonnes of rice to help 25,000 families affected by the Mindanao floods, the UN agency said in a statement today.
"Most flood affected persons are in evacuation centres and are reportedly highly vulnerable due to growing food insecurity," it added.