At least 436 people are dead after Tropical Storm Washi pummeled the Philippines, Red Cross Secretary General Gwen Pang said Saturday.
The vast majority of the bodies were found in the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, according to military officials and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. Five people were killed in a landslide, but all others died in flash flooding.
The provinces of Compostela Valley and Zamboanga del Norte were also hit, added Benito Ramos, chairman of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
About 400 people remain missing after the storm, which is called Sendong locally. More than 2,000 have been rescued, the country’s military reported.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said officials are investigating reports that an entire village was swept away.
Authorities have also begun distributing food rations for some 10,000 families affected by the storm, while also handing out thousands of blankets and mosquito nets, the Red Cross reported Saturday.
Flash flooding overnight — following 10 hours of rain — fueled the devastation, compounded by overflowing rivers and tributaries. As much as 20 centimeters (8 inches) of rain fell within 24 hours in some areas.
Ramos said despite government warning, some did not evacuate.
Philippines in chaos over flooding An estimated 100,000 people are displaced, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
At least 20,000 people were staying in 10 evacuation centers in Cagayan de Oro, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman said Saturday.
Some 20,000 soldiers embarked on search-and-rescue operations, the military said.
Officials asked for volunteers to pack food to send to those displaced.
Though Washi was headed away from the Philippines on Saturday, trouble could loom for Vietnam, as the storm’s westerly path could cross Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday.