At least 98 people have died so far in Philippines after the country was hit by Tropical Storm Nalgae.

At least 53 people out of the 98 who died resided in villages located on the southern island of Mindanao, which was swamped by heavy rains set off by Nalgae.

The death toll rose after villagers fled in the wrong direction and were hit by landslides. According to officials, almost two million people have been affected by the floods in several provinces. The national disaster agency said dozens are feared missing with little hope of finding survivors.

The Philippines sees an average of 20 typhoons every year, however, typhoons are rare in Mindanao.

“In my entire life living here, it’s the first time we experienced this kind of flooding,” said 55-year-old Joselito Ilano whose house was flooded by waist-high water.

She added, “I am used to flooding here but this is just the worst, I was caught by surprise.”

The death toll is likely to rise as the national disaster agency recorded 63 people still missing and several injured in the floods and landslides.

Nalgae was the most destructive storm this year

More than 4,100 houses and 16,260 hectares (40,180acres) of rice and other crops were destroyed in Philippines because of floods unleashed by Tropical Storm Nalgae.

Domestic as well as international flights were canceled. Manila’s international airport was also shut for few hours because of high-speed winds.

The Kusiong village on Mindanao island was among the hardest hit regions. On Saturday, bulldozers were sent to the village to begin retrieval work.

Naguib Sinarimbo, the interior minister for the Bangsamoro autonomous region, said as many as 80 to 100 people, including entire families, are feared to buried under mud or drowned in floods.

In a televised meeting, Philippine’s President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressed disappointment over the high casualty toll.

“We should have done better,’’ Marcos Jr. said.

mf/ar (AP, AFP)

This article was originally published on Deutsche Welle. Read the original article here.

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TNL Editor: Bryan Chou (@thenewslensintl)

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