Death toll from Philippines landslides, floods hits 115
The death toll from landslides and flooding in the Philippines triggered by tropical storm Megi hit 115 on Thursday, official figures showed, as more bodies were found in mud-caked villages.
Scores of people are still missing and feared dead after the strongest storm to strike the archipelago nation this year dumped heavy rain over several days, forcing tens of thousands into evacuation centres.
In the central province of Leyte — the worst affected by Megi — devastating landslides smashed farming and fishing communities, wiping out houses and transforming the landscape.
The disaster-prone region is regularly ravaged by storms — including a direct hit from Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 — with scientists warning they are becoming more powerful as the world gets warmer because of human-driven climate change.
Emergency personnel in Abuyog municipality have retrieved dozens of bodies from a coastal village destroyed by a landslide on Tuesday.
At least 26 people were killed and around 150 are missing, authorities said, with little hope of finding anyone else alive.
Another 86 people were killed and dozens injured in vegetable, rice and coconut-growing villages around Baybay City last weekend, local authorities said. More than 100 are still missing.
Three people also drowned on the main southern island of Mindanao, the national disaster agency said in its latest update.