Monsoon rains hits Philippines triggering landslides

Monsoon rains in the northwest area of the Philippines caused massive landslides, resulting in at least 20 deaths. The area was already weakened after a typhoon Usagi earlier this week.

Aaron Favila/ AP Photo
A motorcycle taxi braves floodwaters at Makati's financial district, south of Manila, Philippines on Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. The Philippine capital remained submerged Monday and classes were cancelled due to heavy rains. (AP Photo/

Torrential monsoon rains hit the northwestern Philippines on Monday, triggering landslides and killing 20 people in areas already weakened by a powerful typhoon, and raising the death toll to 47 from storms across Asia.

Philippine officials said soldiers and villagers were also searching for at least seven people missing in mountainside villages hit by the landslides Monday in the province of Zambales.

In China, where Typhoon Usagi struck after passing by the Philippines, officials said the storm killed 25 people in the southern province of Guangdong, 13 of them in the city of Shanwei where it struck the coast late Sunday.

The other deaths came when two people drowned when a passenger boat capsized in northeastern Aurora province in the Philippines.

Subic Mayor Jeffrey Khonghun said 15 bodies were dug out in two landslide-hit villages in his town. Five people also died in landslides in two other towns in Zambales, according to army officials and police.

Rescuers used their hands, pots and shovels to dig through the muck that buried a cluster of houses while relatives of two other missing residents waited in the rain in the village of Wawandue.

"This is the first after a long time that we were hit by this kind of deluge," Khonghun told Manila's DZBB radio network. He had to stop the interview after another body was pulled out from a muddy heap near him.

Typhoon Usagi enhanced the torrential monsoon rains that drenched the main northern Philippine region of Luzon over the weekend. The powerful typhoon blew away late Saturday and a new tropical storm off southern Japan was continuing to intensify the downpours in Luzon, government forecaster Samuel Duran said.

Many low-lying areas of the Philippine capital, Manila, and outlying regions were swamped Monday, prompting authorities to cancel classes and office work.

In Hong Kong, flight schedules were returning to normal Monday after major disruptions from Usagi, which was the season's strongest storm at its peak. It forced about 250 flight cancellations in Hong Kong before weakening to a tropical depression over the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.

Train and airline services around Guangdong also were back to normal after the storm, China's state broadcaster CCTV said.

China's national weather center said the storm would continue to weaken as it moves northwest.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.