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Philippines storm death toll climbs to 133: govt

By AFP

Added 23rd December 2017 12:55 PM

Tropical Storm Tembin has lashed the nation's second-largest island of Mindanao since Friday, triggering flash floods and mudslides.

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A policeman carries a young girl as he wades through a flooded street in Cagayan City on December 22, 2017, after the Cagayan River swelled caused by heavy rains brought by Tropical Storm Tembin. AFP PHOTO / Josep DEVEZA

Tropical Storm Tembin has lashed the nation's second-largest island of Mindanao since Friday, triggering flash floods and mudslides.

The death toll from a tropical storm in the southern Philippines climbed swiftly to 133 on Saturday, as rescuers pulled dozens of bodies from a swollen river, police said.

Tropical Storm Tembin has lashed the nation's second-largest island of Mindanao since Friday, triggering flash floods and mudslides.

The Philippines is pummelled by 20 major storms each year on average, many of them deadly. But Mindanao, home to 20 million people, is rarely hit by these cyclones.

Rescuers retrieved 36 bodies from the Salog River in Mindanao on Saturday, as officials reported more fatalities in the impoverished Zamboanga peninsula.

The bodies were swept downriver from a flooded town upstream called Salvador, Rando Salvacion, the Sapad town police chief, told AFP. Authorities in Salvador said they had retrieved 17 other bodies upstream.

Salvador and Sapad are in Lanao del Norte, which is one of the provinces hardest hit by Tembin. 

 escue workers evacuate floodaffected residents in avao on the southern hilippine island of indanao early on ecember 23 2017 after ropical torm embin dumped torrential rains across the island  hoto  anman ejeto Rescue workers evacuate flood-affected residents in Davao on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao early on December 23, 2017, after Tropical Storm Tembin dumped torrential rains across the island. AFP Photo / Manman Dejeto

 
The death toll for the Zamboanga peninsula also rose to 28, and police said 81 people were missing after mud and rocks swept down coastal communities in Sibuco and other fishing towns.

Tembin struck less than a week after Tropical Storm Kai-Tak left 54 dead and 24 missing in the central Philippines.

The deadliest typhoon to hit the country was Haiyan, which killed thousands and destroyed entire towns in heavily populated areas of the central Philippines in November 2013.

Tembin is expected to hit the tip of the western island of Palawan late Saturday, the state weather service said.

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