Philippine storm death toll climbs to 224

The death toll in the Philippines due to the landslides and flooding triggered by tropical storm Megi has increased to 224, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Thursday.

The NDRRMC said 221 deaths were recorded in the central Philippines and three in the southern region, reports Xinhua news agency.

It also added 147 more are missing.

Megi dumped rains in central and southern Philippine regions before and after it made landfall on April 10, inundating many areas and triggering landslides in several villages in Leyte province.

The central Philippines is usually the gateway of typhoons to the country.

Landslides and flash floods are common across the Philippines during the rainy season, especially when typhoons hit.

The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, mainly due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire and Pacific typhoon belt.

On average, this archipelagic country experiences 20 typhoons every year, some of which are intense and destructive.

Megi is the first storm to batter the Southeast Asian country this year.

Typhoon Rai, the 15th to lash the Philippines last year, killed more than 400 people.

The category 5 typhoon destroyed more than 1.7 million houses in eight provinces.

The UN estimated over 9.9 million people across the six worst-hit regions were affected by the typhoon.

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