The death toll in the Philippines from Tropical Storm Megi has risen to 76, while hundreds of thousands of people remain displaced, the country’s authorities said on Wednesday.
Many of the deaths were from mudslides and flooding caused when the storm made landfall on Sunday, lashing the eastern and southern coasts of the Philippines with sustained winds of up to 65 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 80 kph.
The National Council for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management said at least 29 people are still missing and eight others are injured.
More than 920,000 people have been affected by the storm, more than 200,000 people have been displaced, while more than 35,000 have been preemptively evacuated, the council said. Some 660 evacuation centers are in operation, it added.
Damage caused by Tropical Storm Megi in Western Visayas, Philippines.
Agricultural damage caused by Megi, known as Agaton in the Philippines, is estimated at more than US$8 million (423.8 million Philippine pesos) as of Wednesday, double the amount reported a day earlier, the Agriculture Department said. .
At least 6,557 farmers and 10,920 hectares of farmland have been affected with products such as rice, corn and livestock hit by the tropical storm, the department added.
Among the most affected regions are Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas and Caraga.
In the eastern province of Leyte, the bodies of 22 people were recovered after being buried under a landslide, Baybay city police chief Joemen Collado told reporters earlier this week. “There were landslides in the communities and then some of the victims were swept away by the floods,” Collado said.
The mayor of Abuyog, in Leyte province, said on Facebook that a landslide had “washed away” Pilar, a local barangay, or neighborhood, in a “catastrophe that broke my heart.”
The landslide had occurred even as preventive evacuation efforts were under way, Lemuel Gin K. Traya said in his post.
“We had done our best to save people from the Barangay pillar. We were able to rescue and save some injured children, elderly, injured and distressed people.
Damage caused by Tropical Storm Megi in Mindanao, Philippines.
Footage shared by the local fire department on Monday showed rescuers wading through water near partially submerged homes and digging for survivors in an area affected by landslides.
Megi, which was downgraded to a tropical depression on Monday, was the first storm to hit the archipelago this year. The country experiences around 20 such storms a year.
The Philippines is still reeling from the effects of Super Typhoon Rai, the strongest typhoon to hit the country in 2021. Rai, known locally as Odette, claimed more than 300 lives and injured more than 500 others.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.