Typhoon Saola death toll rises to 39 in Philippines
AFP & AP
MANILA THE DEATH toll in the Philippines from Typhoon Saola has risen to 39 and is expected to go even higher as new rains worsened flooding, the government said on Friday.
Monsoon rains continued to batter the northern and central parts of the Philippines with some towns remaining flooded for the sixth day in a row, despite the typhoon having moved away from the archipelago.
Earlier reports said 23 had been killed but civil defence chief Benito Ramos said more deaths had been reported, including 11 youths who drowned in four different parts of the country on Thursday.
He also said two bodies were retrieved on Friday from Manila Bay.
Several of the dead were children, including a 6- month old baby.
“They were probably enjoying the big waves, riding on them. They did not expect a storm surge,” he said.
The death toll is likely to go even higher, he added, citing four more swimmers who went missing in the north.
The Ramos-led National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said that although Saola had passed, it was still enhancing the monsoon rains and warned of continued possible flash floods and landslides.
In the coastal districts near Manila, knee-high floods persisted on Friday, said Jeremy de Ocampo of the capital’s flood control office.
“They are right beside Manila Bay and when high tide comes, they are flooded,” he said.
Although Saola did not hit the Philippines directly, it caused heavy rains and rough waters in a wide swath of the country, flooding parts of Manila and surrounding areas.
It moved on Wednesday to Taiwan, where it left at least five people dead and two others missing.
It then weakened to a tropical storm and headed westward to China, where it made landfall around noon on Friday.