Grim search for landslide victims as Philippines typhoon toll rises

Cheryl Sanders
September 19, 2018

Typhoon Mangkhut has killed 66 people in the Philippines and four in China, where it weakened to a tropical storm on Monday.

The storm later blew on to Hong Kong and southern China, where it caused more deaths and damage.

The confirmed death toll across the northern Philippines, where the main island of Luzon was mauled by fierce winds and rain, reached 65 on Monday and was expected to rise further given the number of missing.

Up to 40 people are still feared buried in the landslide in Itogon unleashed Saturday as the typhoon stalled over the area and dumped a month's worth of rain in a matter of hours.

Grim search for landslide victims as Philippines typhoon toll rises

In Hong Kong on Monday, crews were clearing fallen trees and other wreckage left when the financial hub felt the full brunt of the storm on Sunday.

The Hong Kong Observatory reported Mangkhut was the most powerful cyclone to hit the city since 1979, packing maximum sustained gusts of 121 miles per hour.

"We know disasters can make life especially hard for some groups, so we're putting in place measures to protect a diverse group of people, including children, women-headed households, men and boys made vulnerable by the disaster, people with disabilities and older people".

Senior Inspector Heherson Zambale, who is seen in the photographs, told the AP that he and other officials were trying to persuade village leader Edwin Banawol to evacuate the high-risk mountainside area on Friday with dozens of mostly small-scale gold miners and their families.

Hong Kong escaped without any fatalities when the storm hit Sunday. Dozens of residents sought shelter there during the storm despite warnings it was unsafe.

Of the hundreds digging through the debris, many were miners themselves who were looking for friends and relatives, determined to make sure they received a proper burial.

More than 155,000 people remain in evacuation centres in the Philippines two days after Mangkhut - the world s most powerful storm this year - struck, said national police spokesman Benigno Durana.

"Even if I said that there is a 99% chance that they are all dead, there is still a 1% chance that I am wrong - declares Mayor of Itogon, Victorio Palangdan - Rescue will continue until the orders us to stop the operations ".

China Central Television, the state broadcaster, said four people had been killed in Guangdong, China's most populous province of over 100 million residents.

"The Consulate will be monitoring the typhoon situation and will be coordinating with Hong Kong authorities as necessary, and stands ready to provide assistance if needed", the DFA sad.

Other reports by iNewsToday