Tropical storm Choi-Wan in Philippines leave at least 3 dead

The storm forced thousands to evacuate their homes.



Rescuers evacuate residents to safer ground as floods caused by Tropical Storm Choi-Wan hits Maasin City in Southern Leyte province, central Philippines on June 1, 2021.

Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines  — A tropical storm left at least three people dead and displaced thousands of villagers in the southern and central Philippines, where it triggered floods and landslides, officials said Wednesday.

Forecasters said the storm Choi-Wan blew off Victoria town in Oriental Mindoro province south of Manila with sustained winds of 40 miles per hour and gusts of up to 56 mph. It moved northwestward and may weaken as it blows toward the South China Sea on Thursday, they said. A 14-year-old villager died after she rushed with her father to a riverbank to rescue their farm animals in intense rain, and they were swept away by strong currents in Norala town in South Cotabato province. The father remains missing, disaster response officials said.

A baby died in a landslide that hit a mountainous town in southern Davao de Oro province and a 71-year-old man drowned in Davao del Sur province, also in the south, officials said. Coast guard personnel rescued villagers trapped in houses engulfed in rising water, including in Southern Leyte province. They carried 40 residents in waist-deep waters to a gymnasium. 

Floods displaced more than 2,600 people in 18 southern villages, including about 600 villagers who moved to evacuation centers. Thousands more were evacuated Tuesday from towns prone to floods and volcanic mudflows in Albay province, provincial safety official Cedric Daep said. Officials also suspended work in Albay and ordered shopping malls closed to prevent people from converging and increasing the risk of coronavirus infections, Daep said. More than 3,000 passengers and cargo handlers were stranded in central and southern seaports after the coast guard suspended sea travel due to stormy weather. A small cargo ship laden with sand and gravel was abandoned by its crew when it started to take in water near Albuera town in central Leyte province. The crew was safe, coast guard spokesman Armand Balilo said. 


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