4 dead as Basyang triggers landslide in Surigao del Sur

MANILA, Philippines – Four people were killed in Surigao del Sur early Tuesday, February 13, as a tropical storm unleashed heavy rain and triggered deadly landslides, police said.

Tropical Storm Basyang (Sanba) slammed the east coast of the main southern island of Mindanao Tuesday with gusts of 75 kilometers (47 miles) an hour.

The heavy rain triggered landslides that hit mountain villages outside the mining town of Carrascal, Surigao del Sur, killing 4 people, municipal police chief James Alendogao told Agence France-Presse.

"These areas are currently inaccessible and we do not know the extent of the damage," he added.

The state weather service said the storm was expected to move swiftly northwest over the next 24 hours, bringing moderate to heavy rain across the central Philippines.

The archipelago nation is struck by 20 storms or typhoons each year on average, some of them deadly. Sanba is already the second major system to hit this year, and the first to cause casualties.

Tropical Storm Tembin killed 240 people in the Mindanao region in December last year.

The country's deadliest on record is Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which left more than 7,350 people dead or missing across the central Philippines in November 2013. – Rappler.com