( dpa )- The death toll in flashfloods and landslides that hit a wide area of the Philippines rose to 26, with 10 others remaining missing, the government said Saturday.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Saturday visited the Eastern Samar province, 630 kilometres south-east of Manila, which was severely hit by flashfloods and landslides. Arroyo brought along relief supplies to the victims and oversaw the relief and rehabilitation efforts in the area.
The National Disaster Coordinating Council said 13 people were killed in Eastern Samar, mostly by drowning, while five others were killed in the southern province of Lanao del Norte. Eight people were killed in the provinces of Albay, Capiz, Samar, Leyte and Misamis Oriental.
Some 766 houses were totally destroyed and 3,344 others were partially damaged from the floods and landslides. Damages to infrastructure and agriculture were estimated at 900.3 million pesos (22.2 million dollars).
The agency said more than 800,000 people have been affected by the floods and landslides, which were triggered by continuous heavy rains since February 12.
The weather bureau said the heavy rains were triggered by a low pressure system.