MANILA, Philippines – At least 33 villagers and soldiers drowned in a southern Philippine town Tuesday when torrents of water dumped by a powerful typhoon rampaged down a mountain, engulfing emergency shelters and washing away an army truck, officials said.
The deaths raised the toll from the storm to at least 40.
Gov. Arturo Uy said rain from Typhoon Bopha accumulated atop a mountain and then burst down on Andap village in New Bataan town in hard-hit Compostela Valley province.
Uy said the victims included villagers who had fled from their homes to a school and village hall, which were then swamped by the flash flood. An army truck carrying soldiers and villagers also was washed away.
The confirmed death toll in the town could rise further because several other bodies could not immediately be retrieved from floodwaters strewn with huge logs and debris, Uy said.
Army troops and police were not able to reach the town because access roads were blocked by landslides and fallen trees, he said.