Manila: Heavy rains and flash floods over Christmas claimed 13 lives in Philippines, with a further 23 missing who are believed to be fishermen, Al Jazeera reported on Tuesday citing the country's disaster management council.
The calamity not only wreaked havoc in the country but also pushed more than 45,000 people into evacuation centers for shelter. The fishermen who are reportedly missing went out to sea despite the dangers associated with bad weather, the disaster agency said. According to local media, twelve roads were submerged by overflowing rivers on Tuesday, and more than 20 locations in the impacted area were still without power.
The heavy rains, followed by flash floods occurred as a result of a shear line -- an area where warm and cold winds meet and lead to the formation of huge rain clouds, as per the country's weather bureau, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) which further stated that rain-induced landslides are likely in some areas.
The fatalities included a one-year-old girl and a 64-year-old man who drowned in separate events in the province of Camarines Sur, which is located about 270 km (168 miles) southeast of Manila. In the southern province of Misamis Occidental, four additional people are said to have perished, including a 68-year-old woman who had a heart attack after being rescued, according to Al Jazeera.
Rescue efforts are still ongoing, and the impact on agriculture is being evaluated.