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Tropical Storm in Philippines Leaves at Least 54 Dead, 13 Missing

© REUTERS / Erwin FramesResidents stand on a bridge overlooking their homes submerged in floodwaters during heavy flooding brought by tropical storm Seniang in Misamis Oriental, on Mindanao island in southern Philippines December 29, 2014
Residents stand on a bridge overlooking their homes submerged in floodwaters during heavy flooding brought by tropical storm Seniang in Misamis Oriental, on Mindanao island in southern Philippines December 29, 2014 - Sputnik International
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At least 54 people have died in floods and landslides caused by tropical storm Jangmi, which pounded the Philippines earlier this week. Thirteen people remain missing.

MOSCOW, January 1 (Sputnik) — Tropical storm Jangmi left at least 54 people dead and 13 missing, AFP reports, citing local officials.

Residents stand on a bridge overlooking their homes submerged in floodwaters during heavy flooding brought by tropical storm Seniang in Misamis Oriental, on Mindanao island in southern Philippines December 29, 2014 - Sputnik International
At Least 29 Dead, 10 Missing as Tropical Storm Jangmi Hits Philippines
The storm claimed the lives of 29 people in the central provinces of Samar and Leyte, according to the BBC. Of those, 19 were killed by a surprise landslide in the city of Catbalogan.

"We did not expect a deluge. We thought the hill where the landslide hit was tough as rocks," said Stephany Uy-Tan, the mayor of the city, as quoted by the BBC.

Philippines authorities say that more lives could have been saved if they had issued more weather warnings.

"Probably we did not put (enough warnings) out in the media," Alexander Pama, chief of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), told DZMM radio, as quoted by AFP.

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Over 80,000 people were evacuated from the central and southern provinces of the Philippines, according to the BBC. However, some locals refused to leave the area which was hit by the storm, Pama said.

"Maybe this will drive home the point to our countrymen that things are different now. Maybe now, when people are asked to evacuate, they will not resist," he added, as quoted by AFP.

On average, the Philippines is hit by approximately 20 tropical storms annually. Last month, tropical storm Hagupit left 18 people dead.

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