MANILA, April 11 (Reuters) – Philippine authorities said on Monday at least 25 people had died in landslides and floods caused by tropical storm Megi as it hit the eastern and southern coasts of the Southeast Asian country.
The storm made landfall on Sunday with sustained winds of up to 65 kilometres (40 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 80 kph (49 mph). Megi is the first storm to hit the archipelago this year, which sees around 20 such storms annually.
In the eastern province of Leyte, the bodies of 22 people were recovered after being buried under a landslide, Joemen Collado, police chief of Baybay city, told reporters.
The national disaster agency, which has also said three people had died in the southern Davao region, said the reported casualties are still subject to verification.
“There were landslides in communities and then some of the victims were swept by floods,” Collado said, adding that rescue operations are ongoing as at least six more people are missing.
Images shared by the local fire bureau on Monday showed rescuers wading through near partially submerged homes and digging for survivors in a landslide-hit area.
Tropical storm Megi is expected to weaken to 45 km per hour and move back out over sea on Tuesday, the state weather bureau said.