Manila, January 1: At least 68 people have died in a tropical storm in the Philippines. Storm Usman that resulted in heavy rain and triggered deadly landslides hit the Bicol region in Manila on Monday. According to the disaster management agency, 19 people are missing and the death toll is likely to increase.
The tropical depression has destroyed infrastructure and displaced more than 40,000 people nationwide. Certain areas are also experiencing power outages. Several houses have been buried in landslides.
Rescue teams are conducting search and retrieval operations.
Bicol civil defense minister said that no precautions were taken as there was no tropical cyclone warning. The authorities said that the storm has already started receding away from the Philippines to the South China Sea.
The weather disturbance locally named Usman hit the country on Saturday. While it did not have powerful winds it brought heavy rains that caused floods and loosened the soil, triggering landslides in some areas.
Although Usman has since moved westward away from the country, many affected areas were still experiencing seasonal rains, hampering rescue and recovery efforts
The most powerful was Super Typhoon Haiyan which left more than 7,360 people dead or missing across the central Philippines in 2013.