As Typhoon Washi passed through the southern Philippines late Friday, the tropical storm triggered intense flash flooding, resulting in swelled-up rivers and flooding in cities as people slept. According to officials, nearly 200 people have died as a result of the flooding.
According to a report by Reuters, Army spokesman Colonel Leopoldo Galon says that 97 bodies have been recovered so far Cagayan de Oro City, most of which were children.
“I can’t explain how these things happened, entire villages were swept to the sea by flash floods,” Galon told Reuters. “I have not seen anything like this before.”
Iligan city mayor Lawrence Cruz says that 75 people drowned in the city after an overflowed river sent muddy water cascading down nearby mountains. Roughly 250 people are still unaccounted for, Cruz said.
“Most of them were already sleeping when floodwaters entered their homes,” Cruz said. “This is the worst flooding our city had experienced in years.”
Cruz added that the coast guard and other rescuers are intensely searching nearby waters for survivors or bodies that may have floated out to see, the Associated Press reports.
Officials say that it’s too early to estimate crop and property damage.
Source: Reuters, Associated Press
[Image credit: Erwin Mascarinas / AP]