About 150 people have been confirmed dead after storm Vinta tore across the island of Mindanao bringing floods and landslides.
Lanao del Norte was the hardest hit by the storm — international name Tembin — with 62 deaths. Also suffering heavy casualties was Zamboanga del Norte, where 46 perished.
Lanao del Sur registered 18 deaths and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao reported 21 dead.
One person also died in Bukidnon while another died in Davao City, where more than 30,000 have been evacuated.
Scores of people remain missing as of this afternoon (Saturday, December 23), disaster management officials have said.
States of calamity have been declared in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur.
Vinta struck Mindanao on Friday, unleashing flash floods and mudslides. One flood wiped out the remote village of Dalama in Tubod, Lanao del Norte, at about 11am yesterday. At least eight people are confirmed dead, with a further seven missing.
Rescue efforts by police soldiers and volunteers are continuing in Tubod and other nearby villages.
Vinta brings crocodile warning
Aside from the hazards of floodwater and landslide, warning have been issued over the danger of saltwater crocodile attack.
The alert has been issued after a crocodile was seen swimming in floodwater in the Jade Valley neighbourhood of Davao City.
Meanwhile, a 53-year-old Palawan man was attacked and killed by two crocodiles.
Local reports say that Abdulsalam Amerhasan, of Bataraza town, went to check that his motorboat was secure as the Malitub River began to rise on Thursday evening.
After he failed to return, his worried wife contacted local authorities and a search was launched. His body was found at 7am yesterday being mauled by two large crocodiles.
According to state weather bureau Pagasa, Vinta re-intensified into a severe tropical storm this afternoon, ahead of its expected landfall in southern Palawan this evening.
A Pagasa statement said: “Scattered to widespread moderate to heavy rains will prevail over Palawan, while scattered light to moderate with at times heavy rains is expected over Visayas, Mindanao, and the rest of Mimaropa within 24 hours.”
At its peak on Thursday evening, Vinta was a severe tropical storm but later weakened into a tropical depression by yesterday afternoon.
It then grew stronger at sea, now with maximum sustained winds of 90kph near the centre and gusts of up to 115kph. It moved westward at 22kph.
The storm is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility by tomorrow.