Manila, Apr 15 (EFE).- At least 137 people have died and another 28 are missing in the Philippines due to the effects of tropical storm Megi, according to data released by the authorities on Friday.
Most of the victims counted by the National Council for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management were in the eastern province of Leyte, where landslides buried several towns and the final death toll is feared to be much higher.
The emergency teams continue digging, especially in Baybay City and Abuyog town, where images released show entire villages, at the foot of the mountains, buried under landslides and floods.
Some residents of Baybay managed to escape after a small landslide that occurred initially, but a subsequent larger one took many others by surprise, in addition to also affecting members of the emergency teams, the city’s mayor, Jose Carlos Cari, told media.
Tropical storm Megi, called Agaton in the Philippines, entered the country’s east coast on Sunday in a northwesterly direction, causing floods and landslides in the Visayas and Mindadao island clusters.
More than 1.6 million people have been affected by the storm, which has caused more than 580 floods and 89 landslides throughout the country.
Megi is the first major storm to hit the disaster-prone country in 2022, which records an average of 20 typhoons each year.
This storm, which hit this Catholic-majority country before the celebration of Holy Week, surprised the authorities, who had declared a minimum alert level before it made landfall.
In December, Typhoon Rai, the most powerful to hit the Philippines last year, left at least 409 dead while Typhoon Haiyan, the largest to have made landfall, caused some 7,000 deaths in November 2013. EFE