Thousands are evacuated, with Tropical Storm Nalgae expected to make landfall this weekend in the northern Philippines.
Ten of the dead were from the flood-hit town of Datu Blah Sinsuat on Mindanao island, civil defence chief for the regional government Naguib Sinarimbo said on Friday.
Rescuers in rubber boats retrieved another three bodies in the neighbouring town of Datu Odin Sinsuat as they combed the flooded areas around Cotabato City, Sinarimbo told the AFP news agency.
“We’re hoping the toll will end there,” he said.
Rescue teams including military units were also checking other areas where flooding and landslides had been reported.
The heavy rain began late on Thursday in the impoverished region of Mindanao triggering flash floods and landslides.
The state weather office in Manila said the rain storms were related to Tropical Storm Nalgae, which is headed towards the northern Philippines.
The civil defence office said nearly 5,000 people have been evacuated from flood and landslide-prone areas ahead of Nalgae’s expected landfall on Saturday or Sunday.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said on Friday morning that storm Nalgae (known locally as Paeng) is likely to intensify in the next 24 hours and would likely cause flooding and rain-induced landslides, and that winds might reach gale-force strength.
Tropical Storm Nalgae “is forecast to further intensify while moving over the warm waters of the Philippine Sea and may reach severe tropical storm category within 24 hours … it is less likely to reach typhoon category”, the agency said.
TROPICAL CYCLONE BULLETIN NO. 9
Tropical Storm #PaengPH (NALGAE)
Issued at 11:00 AM, 28 October 2022
Valid for broadcast until the next bulletin at 2:00 PM today
“PAENG” ACCELERATES WEST NORTHWESTWARD WHILE MAINTAINING ITS STRENGTH
— PAGASA-DOST (@dost_pagasa) October 28, 2022