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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Philippines Deadly Tropical Storm ‘Nalgae drenches’ kills 72

The Philippines has now recorded 72 deaths as a result of Tropical Storm Nalgae, which brought flash floods and landslides to southern provinces, the country’s disaster agency said.

The tropical storm, which has maximum sustained winds of 95 km (59 mph) and gusts of up to 160 km/h (99.4 mph), made landfall in the eastern province of Catanduanes early Saturday.

Maguindanao province was worst hit, with 67 deaths reported so far, disaster agency spokesman Bernardo Rafaelito Alejandro told radio station DZMM.

Two people were also killed in Sultan Kudarat, two more in South Cotabato and other victims were spread across the Visayas region of the central Philippines, he said.


Another 33 were injured and 14 people were missing, he added.

Typhoon Nalgae will bring heavy and sometimes torrential rains over the capital Manila and nearby provinces on Saturday as it crosses the main island of Luzon and heads into the South China Sea, the state weather agency said in its latest bulletin.

Barnaby Lo, a reporter for Al Jazeera from Manila, said on Saturday that the capital had experienced about 10 hours of continuous rain and the rainfall was expected to continue until Sunday.

“These rains triggered mudslides, landslides and flash floods. Now specifically, in one village in the province of Maguindanao, 67 people died in a flash flood, at least 67 people. That’s just in one village,” he said.


The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration warned on Saturday that Nalgae (locally known as Paeng) will continue to cause rain-triggered floods and landslides as it crosses the country.

Search and rescue teams pulled bodies from water and thick mud after Nalgae triggered floods and landslides in the country’s south on Friday.

“We are now gathering all the rescue teams and we will conduct a briefing before deployment,” Nasrullah Imam, an official of the disaster agency in Maguindanao province, said on Saturday. “It’s not raining anymore so that will help our search and operation.

The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 tropical storms a year.


Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressed his condolences to those who lost their lives in the storm and assured the public that emergency services were deploying supplies of food and other goods to the worst-hit areas.

More than 7,000 people were evacuated ahead of the storm’s arrival, the civil defense office said.

The Coast Guard also suspended ferry service across most of the archipelago due to rough seas, stranding hundreds of vessels and thousands of passengers in ports. Civil aviation authorities said more than 100 flights had been canceled so far.

The storm struck at the start of a long weekend in the Philippines, when millions of people return to their hometowns to visit the graves of their relatives.


Scientists have warned that such storms, which also kill livestock and destroy key infrastructure, are getting stronger as the world warms due to climate change.

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