Tropical Storm Lashes Philippines, At Least 45 Dead


Severe Tropical Storm Nalgae whipped the Philippines on Saturday after unleashing flash floods and landslides that officials said left at least 45 people dead.

Nalgae pounded the archipelago nation’s main island of Luzon with maximum winds of 95 kilometres (59 miles) an hour after making landfall on the sparsely populated Catanduanes island before dawn.

The destruction began well before, with heavy rain inundating mostly rural areas on the southern island of Mindanao on Thursday, followed by deadly landslides and flooding on Friday.

A sharply revised official toll on Saturday put the number of deaths on Mindanao at 40, with five others killed elsewhere in the country.

At the vanished southern village of Kusiong, home to between 80 and 100 people, bulldozers and backhoes churned up a thick layer of grey limestone rock and brown mud the size of 10 football fields as anxious relatives waited for news.

Parts of a denuded mountain nearby had collapsed on the hamlet early Friday and the bodies of 14 members of the Teduray tribe have been pulled out since — with many still missing.

In recent years, flash floods with mud and debris from largely deforested mountainsides have been among the deadliest hazards posed by typhoons in the Philippines.

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