23 dead and missing in storm in Philippines

Manila – Twenty people were killed and three were missing and feared dead in landslides and floods triggered by a storm in the eastern Philippines, the government said Monday.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council said 14 of the fatalities occurred in a landslide that buried several houses in a village in Magallanes town, Sorsogon province, 375 kilometres south of Manila.

Three people were missing in the landslide, which happened late Friday at the height of Tropical Storm Kujira, and rescuers feared they would not be found alive.

A 2-month-old girl was also killed when her family’s house collapsed in the village of Gabao in nearby Irosin town Friday night during heavy rains, the council said.

Two people drowned in rising floodwaters in the province of Camarines Norte while three died of electrocution in the provinces of Catanduanes and Camarines Sur.

Nearly 50,000 people were affected by the storm while more than 5,000 passengers were stranded at ports in the area after their ships were not allowed to sail.

The weather bureau said Kujira strengthened and was now packing maximum sustained winds of 105 kilometres per hour and gusts of up to 135 kph.

It was located Tuesday morning 720 kilometres north-east of Catanduanes and was expected to continue moving east-north-east at 15 kph away from the eastern Philippines.

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