Death toll rises in Philippines storm
By Alastair Wanklyn
At least 45 people are dead in the southern Philippines after flooding and mudslides brought about by a tropical storm.
Video posted on social media showed rescuers faced with a sea of mud. They dug where houses once stood, and pulled out the bodies of residents.
In one village alone eleven people were reported dead.
Elsewhere, heavy flooding brought rescuers in boats.
Some residents were stranded on the roofs of their houses. They were urged to jump into the water and then climb into the boat.
In southern Maguindanao Province, Governor Mariam Mangudadatu said more than half of residents were affected by flooding and destruction.
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos said aid workers are distributing food and bottled water. But, he said, supplies are limited and purification machines are needed.
"Our first priority is bottled water. But this is not going to be efficient so we will be following it up with purifying systems," Marcos said in comments quoted by the Philippine News Agency.
Public health specialists say one of the greatest risks to life after a flood are diseases such as cholera, which are transmitted by drinking water contaminated with human waste.
Meanwhile, dozens of provinces and cities remained under storm alerts.
Several thousand people were evacuated from the storm’s path, including residents in some parts of the capital, Manila.
The mayor of Manila ordered closed the city’s cemeteries ahead of All Saints’ Day weekend, which families mark in the Philippines by visiting and picnicking beside their ancestors’ graves.
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