Landslides and floods killed 13 people, a disaster official said on Friday, as storms battered the southern Philippines brought heavy rain, leaving some residents stranded on rooftops.
A torrent of rain, laden with uprooted trees, rocks and mud, caused overnight flash flooding in mostly rural communities around Cotabato, a city of 300,000.
Regional government spokesman and civil defense chief Naguib Sinarimbo told AFP that seven people were missing.
He said ten of the dead were from the town of Datu Blah Sinsuat on the island of Mindanao.
Rescuers retrieved three more bodies in the neighboring town of Datu Odin Sinsut.
Mr. Sinarimbo said: “The water started coming into the house without dawn. This is the first time this has happened to us.”
Rescuers in rubber boats had to rescue some residents from the roofs, Sinarimbo said.
“We hope that the number of taxes ends here,” he said.
In another photo, police rescuers are seen holding a child in a plastic bathtub as they wade through chest-deep floodwaters.
Mr. Sinarimbo said floodwaters had receded in many areas since then, but about 90 percent of Cotabato City was submerged and heavy rains could lead to flooding within hours.
“At this point our focus is on setting up community kitchens for rescue as well as survivors,” he said, although the exact number of people affected is not yet known.
Heavy rains began late Thursday in the impoverished region under Muslim self-rule after decades of armed separatist insurgencies.
The state weather office in Manila said it was caused in part by Tropical Storm Nalge, which is moving northeast.
Nalge was en route to the northern Philippines, where the Office of Civil Defense said about 5,000 people had been evacuated from flooded and landslide-prone areas ahead of a possible landslide on Saturday or Sunday.
The Philippines experiences an average of 20 hurricanes and tornadoes each year, killing people and livestock and destroying farms, homes, roads and bridges, although the south is rarely hit.
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