At least 60 people still missing as Tropical Storm Nalgae lashes the Philippines

Authorities in the Philippines now say that around 45 people died in a severe tropical storm and not 72, the figure stated earlier.

They said it appeared local officials had over-counted as they also relied on reports from village authorities.

At least 42 people were swept away by rampaging floodwaters and were drowned or hit by debris-filled mudslides in three towns in the southern Maguindanao province on Thursday and Friday, according to the regional interior minister, Naguib Sinarimbo.

Tropical Storm Nalgae destroyed homes, businesses and infrastructure.

"Our house has been damaged from a previous typhoon so I'm worried the storm will intensify because our home could be destroyed. We haven't fixed it yet," said one woman.

"I'm afraid of the storm," a man added, "but I need to go out and work. Otherwise, our pigs will go hungry if I don't feed them."

The worst storm impact so far was a mudslide that buried dozens of houses with as many as 60 people in the tribal village of Kusiong in Maguindanao’s Datu Odin Sinsuat town, Sinarimbo told The Associated Press by telephone, citing accounts from Kusiong villagers, who survived the flash flood and mudslide.

Eleven bodies, mostly of children, were dug up on Friday by rescuers using spades in Kusiong, where about 80 families lived, he said.

“That community will be our ground zero today,” Sinarimbo said, adding that heavy equipment and more rescue workers including army, police and volunteers have been deployed to intensify the search and rescue work.

“It was hit by torrents of rainwater with mud, rocks and trees that washed out houses,” he said.

Five other people died elsewhere from the onslaught of Tropical Storm Nalgae, which slammed into the eastern province of Camarines Sur early on Saturday.