Death toll from Mindanao landslides, floods up to 22
MANILA - Twenty-two people have been killed and nearly 200,000 others evacuated as floods and landslides hit a southern Philippine region still recovering from a deadly 2012 typhoon, the government said Tuesday.
Torrential rain struck the eastern section of Mindanao island at the weekend, unleashing a fresh round of misery for survivors of Typhoon Pablo, civil defense officials said.
"Major rivers overflowed, causing people to drown in areas still recovering from Typhoon Pablo," local civil defence operations officer Franz Irag told AFP, using the local designation for Typhoon Bopha, which struck the region in December 2012.
"Many of the victims had not managed to rebuild and were staying in temporary shelters when they were hit by fresh flooding," Irag said.
Weekend floods and landslides killed eight people in Davao Oriental province and five in Compostela Valley, Irag said.
Additionally, six were buried in a landslide on the small southern island of Dinagat while three other people drowned in nearby areas, John Lenwayan, a civil defense official for the region, told AFP by telephone.
The bad weather also forced more than 194,000 people to flee their homes, Irag and Lenwayan said.
The two officials said the rains started abating on Monday and some of those who took refuge in government-run shelters were returning to their homes.
The Mindanao floods occurred amid an international rehabilitation effort for areas destroyed by Super Typhoon Haiyan in November last year.
Haiyan left at least 7,986 people dead or missing across the central Philippines, according to a running government tally. Bodies are still being recovered from under the rubble.
An average of 20 typhoons and storms kill hundreds of people across the Philippines every year, but the last three years have been exceptional in the ferocity of some of these disasters.
Pablo, which struck the region in December 2012, left 1,900 people dead or missing on Mindanao by government count.
Tropical Storm Sendong (Washi) also unleashed floods that killed 1,080 people in December 2011.
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