President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. of the Philippines said deforestation and the effects of climate change fuelled the flooding and landslides in Maguindanao following heavy rain from Tropical Storm Nalgae (known locally as Paeng).
Heavy rainfall from Tropical Storm Nalgae swamped wide areas of the country from 27 October 2022. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported hundreds of incidents of flooding and landslides, in particular in the provinces of Camarines Sur, Capiz, Antique, Negros Occidental, Cebu and Southern Leyte.
However by far the most destructive of the flooding and landslides occurred in Maguindanao del Norte Province in Bangsamoro Region (BARMM).
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and the Governor Maguindanao carried out an aerial inspection of the damages in the province, where at least 61 people were reported to have died and 17 are still missing as of 01 November.
“When [Maguindanao Governor] Bai Mariam and I were in the helicopter, I noticed that the entire mountain had collapsed…I noticed that in all places where the landslides came down, the mountains were bald. That’s the problem,” the president said.
In the wake of the incident, the chief executive instructed government offices to include tree-planting activities in flood control projects.
“We have to include tree planting in our flood control. But we already know that, we have been hearing this over and over again, but we still keep cutting wood and that’s what happens, landslides like that.”
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.
2.5 Million Affected, 880,000 Displaced
In an update of 01 November 2022, the country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported the storm had affected a total of 2,491,316 people across 72 provinces in 17 regions. Over 1,600 homes have been destroyed and around 4,000 damaged. A total of 880,492 people have been displaced.
Water supply has been interrupted in 17 cities or municipalities and power supply in 294. Over 60,000 hectares of crops have been damaged.
NDRRMC reported 82 confirmed fatalities (30 awaiting validation) and 24 confirmed missing (10 awaiting validation) .