At least 430 people have died and hundreds more have gone missing after the tropical storm Washi swept across the southern Philippines.
At least 200 people have died and hundreds more gone missing after a tropical storm Washi swept across the southern Philippines Photo: AP
By Telegraph reporter and agencies in Manila
3:22PM GMT 17 Dec 2011
The major ports of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, on the north coast of the island of Mindanao, were worst hit by tropical storm Washi.
Many of the dead were swept out to sea. Others were buried alive as mud cascaded down mountain slopes. Water levels rose three feet in less than an hour, forcing thousands to climb on to the roofs of their homes where they huddled against wind speeds reaching 55 miles per hour.
Lawrence Cruz, mayor of Iligan, said: “It’s the worst flood in the history of our city. It happened so fast, at a time when people were asleep.”
Officials said 20,000 soldiers had been mobilised in a huge rescue and relief operation to assist 100,000 people who fled their homes.
Marlyn Manos, an Iligan resident, recounted how she and her children watched in terror from their rooftop as floods washed away neighbours’ homes.