MANILA: Eleven people are believed to have died and more than a million forced to flee their homes as the monsoon and three tropical cyclones caused widespread flooding and landslides across the Philippines.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that 200 houses had been destroyed, and more than $15 million damage caused to property and agriculture.
One death occurred in Mountain Province in the north, two in Negros Oriental in the central Philippines, and one in the National Capital Region, while one person was killed in Olongapo City — a former US naval reservation 110 kilometers north of Manila — five in Bataan province, and one in the central island of Mindoro.
In Bataan province, one of the victims was believed to have drowned while attempting to save neighbors from rising floodwaters at the weekend.
Another victim, also from Bataan province, was electrocuted as he tried to rescue three children stranded in floodwaters.
Reiner Mendoza, 32, of Negros Oriental, died when a large rock fell from a mountain and struck the family house.
The other victims were either swept away by rampaging floodwaters or buried in landslides.
The deaths followed heavy rain caused by the southwest monsoon and three tropical cyclones, Henry, Inday and Josie, which struck the Philippines last week.
The NDRRMC said that flooding had forced 250,536 families in 1,011 villages to seek shelter.
About 14,500 families are being housed in 300 evacuation centers, while 390,000 people had moved to safer ground or sought temporary shelter with relatives.
More than 70 roads and six bridges had been damaged in five regions, and more than 420 areas, including Metro Manila, inundated by floodwaters.
In some areas, including Olongapo City in Zambales province, mud was left in houses and buildings as floodwaters receded. Many residents in the city were unable to save their belongings as floodwaters rose quickly.
Mayor Rolen Paulino said that about 60 percent of the city’s population had been affected by flooding.
A state of emergency has been declared in Olongapo City and parts of nearby Bataan province.
In Pangasinan province, some areas remain flooded. Residents have been forced to wade through floodwaters, while others used boats or large vehicles to move around, according to reports.
The Philippines is located on the typhoon belt in the Pacific, and is hit by an average of 20 cyclones every year.