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131 dead in Mindanao flashfloods

MANILA –- Relentless rain caused by a storm in southern Philippines has triggered massive destruction resulting to numerous casualties.

As of 6 p.m. Saturday (December 17), the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said there were at least 131 people dead and 269 missing.

Differing media reports, however, have pegged the dead from 180 to as much as 436 people.

According to NDRRMC, at least 3,398 families or 4,710 individuals were affected by the storm.

Tropical storm “Sendong” battered provinces in Mindanao with strong winds and heavy rains. It is now headed towards Palawan.

Many parts of Iligan City were swept by floodwaters. Heavy rains since Friday night (December 16) forced rivers to overflow, sending floodwaters to everywhere. Many villages awoke to the rising floodwaters.

In Cagayan de Oro City, villagers were swept to the sea by a raging river.

According to residents, this is the worst flooding they experienced in the area.

Authorities estimated the rainfall amount from 10 – 20 mm per hour within the 300 km diameter of the Tropical Storm, which is considered heavy.

Massive flooding has been reported all over Region 10. Reports suggest that the overflowing of the river systems of Mandulog and Agus were the source of the flooding.

There were power outages in Cagayan de Oro City since Friday evening.

Meanwhile, seventy percent of power was interrupted in the province of Negros Oriental affecting water, communication, and transportation facilities

In the Caraga region, there were no power in the municipalities of Lianga, San Agustin, Marihatag, Bayabas, San Miguel, Cagwait, Tago, Cortes, Carmen, Madrid, Lanuasa, Lingig, and City of Tandag in the province of Agusan del Sur.

As of 2:00 p.m., fourteen domestic flights (2 Philippine Airlines, 2 Air Phil, 6 Cebu Pacific, and 4 Zest Air) were cancelled due to bad weather condition.