The military has joined the coast guard, police and fire protection personnel in the search and rescue efforts, which have been hampered by bad weather.
The death toll from landslides and floods in the Philippines has risen to 59, with rescuers digging up more bodies with bare hands and backhoes in villages crushed by rain-induced avalanches.
Most of the deaths from tropical storm Megi — the strongest to hit the archipelago nation this year — were in the central province of Leyte, where a series of landslides devastated communities.
More than 42,000 people were displaced and 200 injured when Megi made landfall at the weekend. The storm has now dissipated, the state weather bureau said.
Rescuers used boats to reach survivors in Pilar, a village of about 400 people in Abuyog municipality, where a torrent of mud and earth pushed houses into the sea on Tuesday. Police reported five deaths.
A rumbling sound like "a helicopter" alerted Ara Mae Canuto, 22, to the landslide hurtling towards her family's home. She tried to outrun it, but was swept into the water and nearly drowned.
"I swallowed dirt, and my ears and nose are full of mud," Canuto told AFP by telephone from her hospital bed where she is being treated for cuts and bruises. Her father died and her mother is missing.
At least 58 people killed by landslides and severe flooding caused by tropical storm Megi in Philippines pic.twitter.com/OoxKwjm1F7— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) April 13, 2022
Death and destruction
The disaster-prone region is regularly ravaged by storms, including a direct hit from Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
Scientists warn they are becoming more powerful as the world gets warmer because of human-driven climate change.
Baybay City is also reeling after waves of sodden soil smashed into farming settlements over the weekend, killing at least 48 people and injuring over 100, local authorities said.
Aerial photos showed a wide stretch of mud that had swept down a hill of coconut trees and engulfed Bunga village, where only a few rooftops poked through the now-transformed landscape.
The military has joined coast guard, police and fire protection personnel in the search and rescue efforts, which have been hampered by bad weather.
The death toll from Megi is expected to rise as the focus switches from searching for survivors to retrieving bodies.
Whipping up seas, Megi forced dozens of ports to suspend operations and stranded thousands of people at the start of Holy Week, one of the busiest travel periods of the year in the Philippines.
It came four months after super typhoon Rai devastated swathes of the country, killing more than 400 and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.
At least 20 storms and typhoons batter the Philippines each year, mostly during the rainy season that begins around June. Some storms have hit even during the scorching summer months in recent years.
The disaster-prone Southeast Asian nation also lies on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where many of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.