According to authorities, the number of dead after this year’s first tropical storm in the Philippines has risen to 172. At least 170 people were still considered missing about a week after the storm “Megi,” according to the national disaster management agency of the Southeast Asian island nation on Monday. However, there were considerations to temporarily suspend search efforts because of the great dangers in landslide-affected areas in Leyte province.
“Experts are concerned about the safety of search and rescue teams because the ground is still giving way,” said Mark Timbal, a spokesman for the disaster management agency. However, although many days have passed since the landslides, there is still hope of finding trapped people alive.
According to the agency, in Baybay City and nearby Abuyog alone, about 600 kilometers southeast of the capital Manila, 156 people were killed. Tropical Storm Megi, known as Agaton in the Philippines, had made landfall on the east coast on April 10 with gusts of up to 105 kilometers per hour.
Heavy rains had triggered landslides that collapsed on villages and buried dozens of houses. More than two million people in 30 provinces were affected by “Megi,” and 200,000 citizens sought shelter in evacuation centers. Over the weekend, the Civil Protection estimated the damage to houses, agriculture, and public infrastructure at more than 4.6 million euros.
The island nation is hit by about 20 typhoons every year. The worst storm to date, “Haiyan,” claimed the lives of more than 6,300 people in November 2013.
- source:k.at/picture: zeit.de
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