2 die in landslides after Philippines hit with heavy rains

By on September 12, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — A tropical depression dumped heavy rains in the Philippines early Tuesday, flooding metropolitan Manila and nearby provinces and causing a landslide that killed two brothers.

Five other people remain missing after flash floods swept away a house beside a swollen river in Laguna province, disaster relief officials said.

Financial markets, government offices and schools were closed while several flights were cancelled.

Disaster response official Elmer Espiritu said the brothers, aged 14 and 17, died when a landslide covered their home at the foot of a hill before dawn in Taytay town near Manila. Officials have ordered forced evacuation in risky areas after some residents refused to leave, he added.

In Laguna’s Calamba town, flash floods swept away at least one house along the bank of the swollen San Cristobal River. Five people are missing, while eight others including five children were rescued, said disaster response official Noriel Habana.

Twenty-two passengers of a bus stranded in floodwaters were rescued in Quezon province, officials said.

The Philippine weather bureau says Tropical Depression Maring made landfall in eastern Quezon province Tuesday morning, moving northwest with 60 kilometres per hour (37 mph) winds and gusts of up to 100 kph (62 mph). It warned that continued moderate to heavy rains in Manila and nearby provinces along the cyclone’s path may trigger flash floods and landslides.

A stronger typhoon, Talim, is located 865 kilometres (537 miles) east of the Philippines northern tip and is moving toward Taiwan and eastern China.

Typhoon Talim is due to make landfall on Taiwan late Wednesday and officials there were especially concerned about the risk of mudslides in mountainous parts of the island. Taiwan’s central government was contacting the heads of mountain villages, arranging free evacuations to shelters, monitoring rivers and mudslide-prone areas.