At least three people were killed and six others were missing after a tropical storm struck the southern Philippines Friday, unleashing floods and landslides across a region of 20 million people, officials said.
Abdulsalam Binang Amerhasan, 53, went to the river in driving rain on Thursday to tie up his boat, with waters rising as Tropical Storm Tembin closed in, a police report said.
Two towns badly hit were Tubod and Piagapo, where a number of homes were buried by boulders.
Tembin, locally known as Vinta, was packing maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour and gusts of up to 59 mph.
Superintendent Lemuel Gonda, spokesperson of Northern Mindanao regional police, said 19 of the fatalities were from Lanao del Norte which was heavily affected by the calamity.
"The river rose and most of the homes were swept away".
At least 48 people were killed in the hard-hit provinces of Lanao del Norte, where floodwaters from a mountain swept away several houses and villagers. "The village is no longer there", he said.
Another official told AFP that at least 10 people had died in the town of Piagapo, 10km east of Tubod.
"We've sent rescuers but they're making little progress due to the rocks", Saripada Pacasum said.
Photos shared by rescuers on social media showed rampaging, mud-brown floodwaters sweeping down a highway in Lanao del Sur province, engulfing houses and a van, and people seeking refuge on the upper floors of their homes.
"So the priority yesterday and this morning has really been to check their situation".
Tembin came days after Tropical Storm Kai-Tak caused widespread destruction in the central Philippines, killing at least 30 people and displacing more than 240,000.
After leaving a trail of devastation in the southern part of the country, as of Saturday afternoon, the typhoon is moving towards the central province of Palawan and is expected to exit the country on Sunday, the state weather bureau PAGASA said.