Flash Floods Swamp Southern Philippines Towns

June 30, 2011; 8:32 PM ET
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Google Maps image of the Philippines. Mindanao and Davao city at bottom.

At least 25 people are dead and as many as 15 were still missing in the aftermath of deadly flash flooding on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao.

Torrential rain in and about Davao city swelled the Matina River, which burst its banks on Tuesday night, the Manila Times reported.

"Davao City experienced the highest level of floodwaters to date, reaching up to 10 feet," a government communication was quoted as saying.

Another area river cited was the Bangkal.

Victims were forced to flee floodwaters as many as 20 meters (66 feet) deep, some taking to trees and rooftops in their efforts to escape, according to the Times.

The Davao city mayor, who attributed the flooding to heavy rains, said that in some areas, flood waters reached second floors.

Communities hardest hit were Matina, Pangi, Matina Crossing, Matina Aplaya and Talomo, the latter alone having more than 15,000 flood-effected families.

In all, about 125,000 people in and about Davao city were adversely affected.

Data accessed by AccuWeather.com showed that only minor rain fell at Davao Airport.

However, the hard-hit communities lie several miles west of the airport and could have experienced localized extreme rainfall owing to steamy tropical climate and diverse topography.

Indeed, slopes of volcanoes lying nearby to the west of Davao city have some of the eastward-draining headwaters of the flood-stricken rivers. If extreme tropical cloudbursts pelted eastern volcanic slopes, their swiftly flowing runoff could have been enough, hypothetically, to trigger the tragic flooding.


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