Flash floods and landslides caused by heavy rains have killed at least 47 people, including in the hardest-hit southern provinces of the Philippines, officials said.

At least 42 people drowned or were hit by debris-filled landslides in three towns in Maguindanao province between Thursday night and early Friday morning, Interior Minister Naguib Sinalimbo said. By ex-separatist guerrillas.

The onslaught of tropical storm Narge that hit eastern Camarines Sur province early Saturday morning left five people dead elsewhere, according to the government’s disaster response agency.

But the effects of the worst storm so far were landslides laden with rainwater, rocks and trees at the tribal village of Kusion, in the town of Datu Odin Sing Suat in Maguindanao, burying dozens of houses and as many as 60 people. Sinalimbo told The Associated Press by phone. It cites the testimony of a Khon villager who survived flash floods and landslides.

Rescue workers carry residents to safer locations as Tropical Storm Nalge floods Parang, Maguindanao (Philippine Coast Guard via AP)

Eleven bodies, mostly children, were exhumed by rescuers using spades in Kusiong on Friday, he said.

“That community will be our ground zero today,” Sinalimbo said, adding that heavy equipment and more rescue workers, including military, police and volunteers, will be deployed to step up search and rescue efforts. He added.

Coastal villages at the foot of mountains are accessible by road, so more rescue teams should be dispatched on Saturday to deal with one of the worst weather-related disasters to hit the south of the country in decades. I can.

Citing reports from mayors, governors and disaster responders, Sinalimbo said 27 people in Maguindanao town of Datu Odin Singsuat, 10 people in Datu Bula Singsuat town and 5 people in Upi town were killed, mainly by drowning and landslides. said to have died.

The 67 fatalities in Maguindanao on Friday night have been recalled by authorities after discovering double casualties.

Eleven bodies, mostly children, were exhumed by rescuers using spades in Kusiong on Friday (Philippine Coast Guard via AP)

Army officials also reported at least 42 storm deaths in Maguindanao and said in a statement Friday night that their troops “continue to work with local disaster response teams to rescue people trapped in flood waters.” ‘, said military trucks would take displaced people to evacuation camps.

Unusually heavy rains flooded several towns of Maguindanao and a rural province in a mountainous area with wetlands.

Floods rose rapidly in many low-lying villages, forcing some residents to climb onto roofs and being rescued by the military, police and volunteers, Sinalimbo said.

The Coast Guard has issued photos of rescuers walking through chest-high flood waters to rescue the elderly and children of Maguindanao. Many of the wetlands have remained unflooded for years, including the city of Cotabato, where Sinalimbo said his home was flooded.

Stormy weather across wide swathes of the country has caused millions of Filipinos to visit relatives’ graves or plan to travel for a long weekend to have a family reunion on All Saints’ Day in the Philippines. The Coast Guard has come to ban sea travel in dangerously rough waters. predominantly Roman Catholic country. Several domestic flights have also been canceled, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

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