Over 100 dead, dozens missing in storm-ravaged Philippines
Philippine emergency official says at least 100 are dead and nearly 200 injured in a powerful typhoon that has ripped through the central Philippines.
MANILA, Philippines – At least 100 people have been killed and hundreds of homes destroyed in the Philippines as heavy rains and strong winds lashed the country’s central region over the last 24 hours.
The area where the storm flattened the villages of Banayon and San Jose in Nueva Ecija province has been devastated, with dozens of homes completely destroyed and others badly damaged.
“I have never seen anything as bad as this. The whole town is destroyed and the road is blocked,” said Marcelino Balic, a resident of the town who did not want to be identified.
“There are dead bodies, houses collapsed and trees everywhere,” he said.
“I have come to this area for at least seven years,” he said. “I am scared. How can I look my parents in the face?”
Barely a few hours after the cyclone hit the area, emergency officials said the death toll stood at about 130 people, while another 1,500 were injured. The number is expected to rise, with rescuers still pulling bodies from the rubble.
Two people died trying to rescue people trapped in collapsing buildings, an official said, adding that rescuers from the government’s civil defense force and the Red Cross were searching for other survivors.
Most of the victims were adults and the youngest was just 2.
“So many lives were lost in a matter of a few hours,” said Jolo Mayor Jose Antonio Bina, whose town has not reported any casualties yet.
“This storm is going to be tough,” he said, noting that residents are living in a dangerous situation with no food, water or electricity for over a week.
The typhoon hit a week ago, killing more than 1,100 people in the Philippines. The typhoon also brought torrential rains and flooding to the archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, including Manila and parts of Central and East Luzon in the country’s eastern half.
The government estimated that the storm was one of the strongest ever to hit the country, with an intensity