Philippines floods and landslides leave 21 dead: officials

MANILA, Feb 22, 2008 (AFP) – At least 21 people have been killed and more than 294,000 displaced by floods and landslides in the central and southern Philippines, relief officials said Friday.

The civil defence office and the local Red Cross reported 15 dead and four missing in the central islands and the Bicol peninsula, southeast of Manila.

Another six people died in the southern island of Mindanao after heavy rains lashed the area this week.

Most of the dead in the central islands were drowned by flashfloods while those in Mindanao were killed by a landslide, the civil defence office said.

It said in a statement that it would also conduct an aerial survey of the affected areas to determine the extent of flooding and landslides.

A military C-130 flew to the central island of Samar, which bore the brunt of the storms, to deliver relief goods, the office added.

The Red Cross, the social welfare department and other relief agencies are also distributing food and relief goods in other affected areas.

The public works department has deployed heavy equipment to clear landslides and set up temporary bridges to make roads passable.

The entire province of Albay in the Bicol peninsula as well as the eastern half of Samar island and one town in the central island of Capiz have been placed under a state of emergency to help deal with the damage.

The weather bureau said a low-pressure area and the tail-end of a cold front in the country’s south had combined to bring unseasonal heavy rains across the islands over the past week.

mm/kw/adm AFP 220516 GMT 02 08

From: Agence France-Presse

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