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Floods in Philippines: 3 dead, 77,000 flee as storm triggers landslides

Strong winds toppled trees, knocking out power while floods, small landslides blocked roads and buried some homes

AFP | PTI  |  Tacloban (Philippines) 

floods, rains, rainfall
File photo of flood. Photo: Shutterstock

At least three people were killed and tens of thousands were driven from their homes by floods as Tropical pounded the eastern today, cutting off power and triggering landslides, officials said.

Kai-Tak, packing gusts of up to 110 kilometres an hour, hit the country's third-largest island in the afternoon and tore through a region devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan four years ago, the said.

Local officials reported three deaths on neighbouring Leyte island -- a two-year-old boy who drowned in the town of Mahaplag, a woman buried by a landslide and another person who fell into a flooded manhole in Ormoc city.

and Leyte, with a combined population of about 4.5 million, had borne the brunt of Haiyan in 2013, which left more than 7,350 people dead or missing.

Felix Villaseran, his wife and four children hunkered down in their two-storey house in the Leyte city of along with 11 relatives whose homes were flooded from the incessant rain.

"We have yet to shake off our phobia. I hope to God we don't have a repeat of that," Villaseran, who lost 39 cousins in the Haiyan onslaught, told AFP by telephone.

"My missus stockpiled on groceries before the hit, but since we also have to feed these three other families we are now running low on food," he added.

Military trucks drove through rising floodwaters on and Leyte to rescue trapped residents, with more than 77,000 people now in evacuation centres, local officials said.

Strong winds toppled trees and power pylons, knocking out power throughout the region while floods, small landslides and rock falls blocked roads and buried some homes, local officials and witnesses said.

Farmland in the mainly rural region was also under water, while seven people were injured by landslides and flying objects, the said in a report.

A for the national government's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council told AFP it was trying to confirm reports of two other deaths from landslides and floods on the islands of Biliran and Dinagat.

"It was like a flashback again for residents of city," its told by telephone, referring to the Haiyan disaster.

The station broadcast images of flooded streets and corrugated iron roofing sheets flying off homes.

"Nearly half the villages here are flooded," Marcelo Picardal, of province told ABS-in a telephone interview.

Three other people were missing in Ormoc after being swept away by floods on Saturday, city mayor Richard Gomez told CNN television in an interview.

"We need a lot of water and a lot of blankets," Gomez added, citing widespread flooding that may have contaminated the tap water system of the city of 200,000 people.

The said more heavy rain was expected in the eastern in the coming hours with forecast to slice across the rest of the over the weekend.

Ferry services on the storm's path were suspended due to rough seas, the civil defence office in the area said.

About 20 or weaker storms either make landfall in the Philippines or reach its waters each year, bringing annual misery and death and consigning millions of survivors to perennial poverty.

First Published: Sat, December 16 2017. 18:29 IST