At least 42 people have been killed and dozens feared missing as the Philippines has been hit by a deadly storm that has caused flooding and landslides. Search and rescue teams pulled bodies from water and thick mud on Friday, including eleven from the southern province of Maguindanao.
The province was hit hard by storm Nalgae according to Naguib Sinarimbo, interior minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Mindanao (BARMM).
Mr. Sinarimbo explained that rescue efforts had been temporarily suspended overnight on Friday but will resume on Saturday morning.
It comes as fears grow that more people are still trapped under mud and flood waters, particularly in the town of Datu Odin.
Speaking to Reuters, Mr. Sinarimbo expressed his concern that up to 80 people might be trapped.
He said: “Based on the assessment on the ground, at that specific site, there were many (who got buried).
“The number might hit 80, but we are hoping it won’t reach that number.”
Thousands of people had been evacuated out of the path of storm Nalgae as fears grow that the storm could make a landfall in Samar province in central Philippines.
Mr. Sinarimbo said that the rainfall in Maguindanao province had exceeded expectations and that initial preparations had not been enough.
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Storm Nalgae forced many flights to be canceled just as many people were heading back home to observe All Souls Day.
Schools were also closed and the operations at ports severely disrupted.
According to the weather bureau, the storm could intensify even further as it moves over the Philippine Sea.