A crocodile killed and ate a man who was securing his boat as a tropical storm bore down on the Philippines, police said Saturday.
Abdulsalam Binang Amerhasan, 53, went to a river in driving rain on Thursday to tie up his boat on the western island of Palawan, with waters rising as Tropical Storm Tembin closed in, a police report said.
The death toll from a tropical storm climbed swiftly to 133 on Saturday, as rescuers pulled dozens of bodies from a swollen river.
Villagers trying to cross raging flood waters in Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga Pennisula, southern Philippines
Residents walk through floodwaters as they evacuate to a safer place in Kabacan, North Cotabato, on the southern island of Mindanao
A Filipino policeman carries the body of a victim in the flood hit town of Salvador
The death toll from a tropical storm climbed swiftly to 133 on Saturday. Villagers cling to each other as they try to cross flood waters
Villagers brave the flood waters with the help of a rope, as a child clings to a man’s back
When Amerhasan failed to return home after an hour, his worried wife sought help from neighbours who launched an overnight search, believing he had had an accident, it added.
According to the police report, the community searched along the river ‘until they found out that the lifeless body of the victim was still (being) tumultuously bitten by a crocodile’.
Police did not say what happened to the crocodile.
Last month a 12-year-old girl was fetching water in a forest elsewhere on the island when she was dragged away by a crocodile in front of her horrified siblings and has not been seen since.
Tropical Storm Tembin lashed the nation’s second-largest island of Mindanao triggering flash floods and mudslides
Filipino villagers cross a swollen river on makeshift rafts in flood hit town of Salvador, Lanao del Norte province
A Filipino government soldiers on a patrol as villagers wade through floodwater
The state weather service said Tembin was expected to hit Balabac and Bataraza late Saturday after killing more than 100 people on the main southern island of Mindanao.
Tropical Storm Tembin has lashed the nation’s second-largest island of Mindanao since Friday, triggering flash floods and mudslides.
The Philippines is pummelled by 20 major storms each year on average, many of them deadly but Mindanao, home to 20 million people, is rarely hit.
Police, soldiers and volunteers used shovels to dig through mud and debris as they searched for bodies in the village of Dalama on Saturday.
‘The river rose and most of the homes were swept away. The village is no longer there,’ police officer Gerry Parami said, speaking from nearby Tubod town.
Rescuers meanwhile retrieved 36 bodies from the Salog River in nearby Sapad town on Saturday.
Swollen rivers and mudslides have swept many people’s homes away and many villages have disappeared completely
Special Assistant to the President, Christopher Bong Go uses a jetski to help in the rescue of stranded residents due to flooding brought on by tropical storm Tembin
Landslides had blocked rescue and relief convoys to the impoverished regions hit by the tropical storm
The bodies in Sapad were swept downriver from a flooded town upstream called Salvador, Rando Salvacion, the Sapad town police chief said. Authorities in Salvador said they had retrieved 17 other bodies upstream.
Tubod, Salvador and Sapad are in Lanao del Norte, which is one of the provinces hardest hit by Tembin.
‘The people received ample warnings. But as we are rarely hit by typhoons, people living near rivers did not take them seriously,’ said Salvador police chief Wilson Mislores.
The death toll for Mindanao’s Zamboanga peninsula also rose to 28, and police said 81 people were missing after mud and rocks swept down coastal communities in Sibuco and other fishing towns.
Landslides had blocked rescue and relief convoys to the impoverished region, officials said Saturday.
Tembin struck less than a week after Tropical Storm Kai-Tak left 54 dead and 24 missing in the central Philippines, straining the disaster-prone nation’s resources.
‘It is unfortunate that another tropical cyclone … made its presence felt so near Christmas,’ Harry Roque, President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman, said in a statement.
Roque vowed continued government aid to the affected communities, but Romina Marasigan, spokeswoman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, described the situation as ‘challenging’.
The deadliest typhoon to hit the country was Haiyan, which killed thousands and destroyed entire towns in heavily populated areas of the central Philippines in November 2013.
The state weather service said Tembin is expected to hit Balabac, a fishing island of 40,000 people in the western Philippines late Saturday with gusts of 115 kilometres (71 miles) an hour.