Philippines flooding: monsoon rains kill at least eight

At least eight killed in torrential monsoon rains in Philippines, says disaster relief agency

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Torrential monsoon rains have killed at least eight people in the Philippines, the country's disaster relief agency said on Monday, and the toll is expected to rise as two tropical storms batter northern Luzon, the main island in the archipelago.

The deluge over the past week forced the closure of government offices and schools in Manila, and caused widespread flooding on major roads and landslides outside the capital.

About 40,000 people across Luzon were affected by the monsoon rain and nearly 4,000 took refuge temporary shelters due to floods and landslides.

Four fishermen were missing after strong winds and giant waves destroyed their fishing boats and six smaller boats in Bolinao town on the north coast.

"Nine other fishermen were rescued by a passing ship," Alexander Pama, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

Pama said six people drowned after flash floods swept them into a swollen river and two others were crushed to death when rampaging waters caused walls to collapse.

A South Korean diver died and two others were hospitalised after they were swept by strong currents off Mactan Island in the central Philippines and were found hundreds of miles away near the Camotes Islands.

He said the agriculture ministry estimated initial losses in rice and corn crops at about 4 million pesos ($90,000). Assessments of damage to infrastructure, particularly on roads and bridges, are still being made.

An average of 20 typhoons pass through the Philippines every year. In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan - the biggest-ever storm to make landfall - hit the central Philippines, killing more than 6,300 people and leaving 14 million others homeless.