Three French tourists were among at least 12 people killed when heavy rains collapsed an earthen dike and fed landslides and floods that deluged towns and villages in the northern Philippines, officials said on Friday.
A group of French and South Koreans were traveling on Mount Pinatubo yesterday when a landslide blocked their path, trapping one of their three cars, said Tarlac provincial Gov. Victor Yap.
Three French nationals -- a woman and two men -- and their two Filipino guides were swept away in a flash flood. The five bodies were recovered separately Friday, said Fely Baun of the disaster coordinating council of Tarlac's Capas township.
The six French survivors -- three men, including one with a fractured shoulder, and three women -- were taken to the Central Luzon Doctors' Hospital in Tarlac city and were to be taken to Manila later in the day, a hospital staffer said.
"They said the water suddenly rose and they were swept away by strong currents," Yap told The Associated Press.
French Embassy Consul Arnold Rayar said he has spoken with the survivors, but he declined to give details.
The worst-hit area was Zambales province, west of Manila in the foothills of Mount Pinatubo.
Over 1,000 residents of Botolan town sheltered overnight at a school after days of pounding rain caused a 20-metre breach in the Pinatubo dike, sending the floodwaters as high as roofs, said regional police chief Leo Nilo dela Cruz.