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Usman death toll in Bicol climbs as more bodies dug up

ABS-CBN News Posted at Dec 30 2018 11:42 PM | Updated as of Dec 31 2018 01:20 AM MANILA - The number of casualties in the Bicol region from tropical depression Usman has climbed to 57 as more bodies were dug up from areas that were hit by landslides, data from the Office of Civil Defense in Region V showed.

The OCD said there were 15 people killed in Albay, 6 in Sorsogon, 23 in Camarines Sur, 6 in Camarines Norte, and 7 in Masbate.

OCD Region 5 director Claudio Yucut said most victims were buried in landslides while others drowned.


"Most of the (affected) areas are underwater. We are sending troops and rubber boats to rescue families. In some areas the floods have reached the roofs of homes," he told AFP.

Most of the families who were evacuated because of Usman had returned to their homes.

Rescue teams meanwhile are still trying to reach isolated areas in the town of Buhi, Camarines Sur.

Meanwhile, a councilor in the town of Sagñay, Camarines Sur said there are still many residents who remained missing.

Councilor Ratz Chavez said several houses at the foot of a mountain were buried by landslides, but search and retrieval teams were having trouble reaching the area as roads remained impassable.


More than 22,000 people fled their homes ahead of the storm, which destroyed rice and corn crops and left some roads and bridges inaccessible, according to regional disaster officials.

Government forecasters said Sunday that heavy rain would continue over the next 24 hours in the northern Philippines.

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people and leaving millions in near-perpetual poverty.

The most powerful was super typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,360 people dead or missing across the central Philippines in 2013. - With reports from Jeff Hernaez, Anjo Bagaoisan, Jessa Mylce Mella, and Agence France-Presse, ABS-CBN News



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