Flooding due to heavy rain in a residential district of Butuan City, Caraga Region, on Wednesday. Rescue units reported that more than 8,000 people have been evacuated. Image Credit: EPA

Manila: Two people, including a seven-year-old boy, drowned as floods and landslides hit south Philippines due to continuous rains that affected parts of Luzon and central Philippines since December 29, a disaster management official said.

Reyam Bahan, seven, of Tubay town in Agusan del Norte province, was the latest victim of continuous rains in the south, said Benito Ramos, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). The number of fatalities could rise, Ramos said, adding that four fishermen from Masbate, central Philippines, have been reported missing.

Thousands evacuated

According to Ramos, a total of 47,725 families or 239,395 people were affected by continuous rains in 347 villages in the six provinces of the Caraga Region such as Misamis Oriental, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Islands. He added that 1,761 families or 8,567 people were placed in 23 evacuation centres. The newly displaced people were temporarily residing in evacuation centres earlier, but they had gone home briefly when the weather condition turned brighter, said Ramos. All the rain-drenched areas were placed under alert level three, allowing local government leaders to implement forced evacuations.