MANILA, Philippines — Heavy rains caused by a summer tropical depression killed at least 25 people in the central and southern Philippines, mostly due to landslides, officials said Monday.
Twenty-two villagers died in landslides in four villages in the city of Baybay in central Leyte province on Sunday and Monday, the city’s police chief, Lt. Col. Joemen Collado, said. At least six other people have been reported missing from the landslides and a search is underway, he said.
Three more storm-related deaths were reported by the government’s main disaster management agency in the southern provinces of Davao de Oro and Davao Oriental.
“A landslide occurred in a village, and unfortunately other victims were also swept away by the water masses,” Collado told the DZBB radio station. “There were at least six missing, but there could be more.”
Nearly 200 floods were reported over the weekend in various areas in the central and southern provinces, displacing about 30,000 families, some of whom have been placed in emergency shelters, officials said.
Coast Guards, police and firefighters rescued some villagers in flooded communities, including some who were trapped on their roofs. In central Cebu City, schools and jobs were suspended on Monday and Mayor Michael Rama declared a state of disaster to allow emergency funds to be released quickly.
At least 20 storms and typhoons hit the Philippines each year, mostly during the rainy season, which begins around June. Some storms have even struck during the scorching summer months in recent years.
The disaster-prone Southeast Asian nation also sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where many of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.