MANILA: The death toll from flooding and landslides in the Philippines wrought by tropical storm Jangmi rose to 53 Wednesday, officials said, with some regions saying they were caught off guard by the deluge.
In Catbalogan town in Samar province 19 people died in a landslide that left homes and vehicles buried under rocks and mud, local Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan said, adding that the town had been surprised by the landslide.
“We did not expect a deluge.We thought the hill where the landslide hit was tough as rocks,” she told AFP.
“There was no evacuation, people were just advised to prepare for possible landslides,” she said.”We need to check communication systems to find out what went wrong.”
Jangmi affected 121,737 people, of which 80,186 are in evacuation centres, according to the national disaster monitoring agency, which said that 53 people were killed overall.
The storm’s death toll was nearly triple that of the last major storm to hit the country, Super Typhoon Hagupit, earlier this month.