Ompong death toll jumps to 49: police

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Sep 16 2018 07:32 PM | Updated as of Sep 17 2018 09:48 AM

Residents tramp through the mud in a landslide-hit area in Itogon, Benguet Sunday. Mayor Victorio Palangdan said local officials have verified 32 deaths in the municipality as of Sunday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

The number of people killed by Typhoon Ompong (international codename Mangkhut) in the Philippines jumped to 49 on Sunday, police said, as more landslide victims were discovered.

Police spokesman Benigno Durana released updated figures showing the number of dead had risen from the previous reported toll of 30.

The world's biggest storm this year left large expanses in the north of the main Philippine island of Luzon underwater as fierce winds tore trees from the ground and rain unleashed dozens of landslides.

In the town of Baggao the typhoon demolished houses, tore off roofs and downed power lines. Some roads were cut off by landslides and many remained submerged.

Farms across northern Luzon, which produces much of the nation's rice and corn, were sitting under muddy floodwater, their crops ruined just a month before harvest.

"We're already poor and then this happened to us. We have lost hope," 40-year-old Mary Anne Baril, whose corn and rice crops were spoilt, told AFP.

"We have no other means to survive," she said tearfully. 

An average of 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines each year, killing hundreds of people.

The latest victims were mostly people who died in landslides, including a family of four.

The Philippines' deadliest storm on record is Super Typhoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan), which left more than 7,350 people dead or missing across the central part of the country in November 2013.