3 dead as storm hits southern Philippines

MANILA: At least three people were killed and six others were missing after a tropical storm struck the southern Philippines on Friday, unleashing floods and landslides across a region of 20 million people, officials said.
Tropical Storm Tembin hit the east coast of Mindanao, the archipelago nation’s second-largest island, before dawn with gusts of 125 kilometres an hour bringing torrential rain, the state weather office said.
“We forced hundreds of people to evacuate some villages, but the water rose swiftly and our rescuers cannot reach other areas,” civil defence officer Saripada Pacasum of Lanao del Sur province, one of the hardest-hit areas, said.
The Philippines lies on the Pacific typhoon belt and endures an average of 20 typhoons and storms each year, but Mindanao is rarely hit by these cyclones.
A small landslide buried several houses in the town of Tugaya and killed two children, with five other people missing and believed trapped beneath the rubble, Pacasum said.
Another landslide buried four houses in the city of Valencia, killing an elderly woman, said the city’s civil defence officer Junrey Vallejo.
252 ferry passengers rescued: Meanwhile, the Coast Guard said on Friday it had rescued 252 passengers and crew, including an Australian and his Filipino wife, and recovered five dead people from a ferry that capsized east of the capital Manila on Thursday. — AFP/Reuters