Tropical storm slams into Philippines, killing dozens

© Alizain A Tahir via Reuters

Severe Tropical Storm Nalgae slammed into the Philippines on Saturday, after unleashing flash floods and landslides that left at least 45 people dead according to a sharply revised official tally.

Nalgae pounded the archipelago nation's main island of Luzon with maximum winds of 95 kilometres (59 miles) an hour after making landfall on the sparsely populated Catanduanes island before dawn.

The destruction began well ahead of landfall, with heavy rain inundating mostly rural areas on Mindanao island in the south on Thursday followed by deadly landslides and flooding on Friday.

But the government revised its official death toll downward from 72 to 45 in the afternoon.

Officials said some deaths had been erroneously tallied twice from the Mindanao events, which accounted for 40 deaths. The storm also killed five others elsewhere in the country.

In recent years, flash floods with mud and debris from largely deforested mountainsides have been among the deadliest hazards posed by typhoons in the Philippines.

Rescue workers are focusing on the village of Kusiong, home to between 80 and 100 people, which was buried after part of a denuded mountain nearby collapsed.

"Yesterday we were focused on rescue and recovered 11 bodies," regional civil defence chief Naguib Sinarimbo told AFP.

"Today we resumed our work, but this is already a retrieval operation because the village has been buried under rock and mud for more than a day," he added, declining to say how many are feared dead.


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