Philippine storm death toll rises to 167
Manila, April 16 (IANS) The death toll from the landslides and flooding spawned by tropical storm 'Megi' has risen to 167, with 110 still missing, the government said on Saturday.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that 164 died in the central Philippines while three died in the southern Philippines. The agency, which culls reports from the provinces affected by disasters, added that there are 110 more missing in central Philippines.
Megi dumped rains in the central and southern Philippine regions before and after it hit land on April 10, inundating many areas and setting off landslides in several villages in Baybay City and Abuyog town in Leyte province, Xinhua news agency reported.
On Friday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte visited the devastated province and handed relief goods to the survivors. He conducted an aerial inspection of the villages buried by mudslides.
The central Philippines is in the typhoon alley and usually the gateway of typhoons to the country. Landslides and flash floods are common across the Philippines during the rainy season, especially when typhoons hit.
The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, mainly due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire and Pacific typhoon belt. On an average, this archipelagic country experiences 20 typhoons every year, some of which are intense and destructive. Megi is the first storm to batter the country this year.