Philippines floods kill at least 72 – Science et Avenir

At least 72 people have died in floods and mudslides in the Philippines as Tropical Storm Nalgae hit the archipelago on Saturday, according to a new report released by authorities.

Nalgae, expected since Thursday, hit Luzon, the main island of the Philippines, accompanied by winds reaching 95 km/h, an hour after making landfall before dawn on the sparsely populated island of Catanduanes.

As of Saturday morning, the death toll stood at 72, Rafaelito Alejandro, director of the country’s civil protection service, said. He said at least 14 people were still missing.

The previous official death toll was 67.

Rescuers have focused their efforts on the village of Kusong, where dozens of bodies were found on Friday.

Heavy rain began on Thursday evening in the region.

According to the Philippine Meteorological Service, Nalgae could hit the capital Manila.

“According to our forecasts, this storm is very strong, and we have prepared for it,” Alejandro said, adding that 5,000 teams of several rescuers each were ready to intervene.

Residents living in or near the path of the hurricane are asked to stay at home.

More than 7,000 people were evacuated prior to the storm, according to the Civil Defense Administration.

The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 typhoons and storms each year, killing people and livestock in their path and destroying farms, homes, roads and bridges, although southern areas are rarely affected.

As the planet suffers from global warming, storms and typhoons are becoming more powerful, scientists warn.

In late September, Typhoon Noru claimed the lives of at least 10 people in the Philippines, including five rescuers. Tropical storm Mega, which hit the country in April, killed at least 148 people and caused large-scale landslides.

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