Philippines floods toll climb 85

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Villagers in the Philippines use a boat to cross water after the road was damaged at a flooded community in the town of Bulan, Sorsogon province, one of three under an emergency state to free up rescue funds and resources. (Romedor Gloriane/EPA-EFE)

The death toll from landslides and devastating floods in the central Philippines triggered by a tropical depression climbed to 85, officials said on Wednesday, and 20 people were missing as rescuers slowly reached cut-off communities.

The casualties, including young children, were mostly killed when their homes collapsed in landslides after days of heavy rain in several provinces in the central Philippines, said Ricardo Jalad, executive director of the national disaster agency. “If we don’t recover the missing or we recover them dead, that is 105 deaths, which we hope not,” Jalad said.

The tropical depression, which weakened into a low pressure system before leaving the Philippines on Sunday, brought heavy rain that triggered landslides and flooding in the Bicol and eastern Visayas regions. Officials put three provinces under a “state of calamity” to give them access to emergency funds. (RTRS)

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