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Christmas floods leave 13 dead

Almost two-dozen people remain missing after a torrential downpour triggered deadly floods

At least 13 people were killed in the Philippines in flash floods following days of heavy rains, which caused chaos amid Christmas celebrations in the country and forced nearly 50,000 residents to seek shelter. 

The nation’s disaster agency reported the fatalities on Tuesday, noting that most were caused by drowning amid floods in the Philippines’ southern provinces. As the flood waters begin to recede, authorities continue to search for 23 others who are still unaccounted for in the region.

Nearly a week’s worth of rain left several rivers, roads and highways overflowing with water, with rural towns, as well as cities such as Ozamiz and Oroquieta, seeing significant flooding.

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“The heart of the city was flooded including the public market. Power was cut off and there was no [telephone] signal,” said Misamis Occidental province Governor Henry Oaminal, referring to Oroquieta, a city with some 72,000 residents.

According to data gathered by the Social Welfare Ministry, around 46,000 people were sheltered at evacuation sites around the country as of Monday. Media reports indicated that many citizens were forced to trudge through waist-deep water in some harder-hit areas, where a number of landslides were also observed in the wake of the floods.

An official from the regional disaster agency in Misamis Occidental, Carmelito Heray, told local media that rescue operations are still underway, and that damage to local infrastructure, especially related to agriculture, was being assessed.

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While the largely Catholic nation typically sees around 20 tropical storms each year, the inclement weather over the holiday was not classified as such. Still, the Philippines frequently experiences deadly floods and landslides from heavy rains, especially common during its summer and winter monsoon seasons.

December 27, 2022 at 10:06AM
RT

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