At least 182 people were killed while over 300 went missing as flashfloods and landslides brought by tropical storm Sendong hit many parts of Mindanao, officials said.
The number of casualties is feared to rise as authorities are still checking reports that some of the missing had died.
Colonel Leopoldo Galon, Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command spokesman, said 97 bodies were recovered in flood-hit Cagayan de Oro City alone, where 125 people were reported missing.
In Iligan City, government troops recovered 75 bodies but 250 people remain missing as of Saturday afternoon, Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, AFP Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said.
Two people believed to be swept by the floods in Iligan were found dead in Kauswagan town, west of the city, Lanao del Norte provincial police director Senior Supt. Orlando Benas said by phone.
“Marami sa kanila ang tulog, ang nangyari kasi biglang bumaha 2:30 a.m. Isa pa, hindi sila sanay sa bagyo ang tao diyan sa mga area na ‘yan. Usually kasi 25 millimeters lang ang tubig ulan sa kanila, eh ito more than 100 millmeters ang bumagsak,” Office of Civil Defense Benito Ramos said.
“Na-warningan sila pero hindi sila nag-preemptive evacuation,” he added.
Floods in the two cities affected 35 barangays, forcing at least 20,000 people to flee, OCD-10 director Ana Caneda said.
A big damage is expected, but civil defense workers in the field have yet to make an assessment as they are prioritizing the evacuees, she said.
“Expected ang malaking damage, lalo na sa agriculture,” Ramos said.
Power was “shut off” for several hours in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, but was restored as of 3:30 p.m. Saturday, he said.
In Polanco, Zamboanga del Norte, three people identified as Rodrigo Siangco, Rogelio Ramirez Jr., and a certain Mrs. Damuag, drowned in floods, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported.
In Monkayo, Compostela Valley, five people perished in separate landslides Friday night at the mining area of Brgy. Mt. Diwata, Senior Insp. Gretchin Cinco, Southern Mindanao regional police deputy spokesperson said.
The landslides, caused by rains that started Friday morning, killed Rose Dela Penas, 57, Nasser Tuan, 6, Aliah Tuan, 14, Rhaker Tuan, 4, all residents of Purok 4; and Jolito Lumactud, a boarder at Purok 21, Cinco said. (John Roson)
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