30 Dec 2010

Two dead, thousands evacuated after Philippines flooding

9:02 pm on 30 December 2010

Two people have been killed and about 4000 forced to flee their homes by flash floods and landslides in the province of Albay in the Philippines.

Officials say an 80-year-old woman and her 50-year-old son were swept away by rushing waters as they crossed a spillway to return to an evacuation centre.

They had gone home to get belongings.

Heavy monsoon rain continued to fall on Albay and other parts of the Bicol region for the sixth straight day, increasing the danger of landslides and floods and forcing more people to be moved out of their homes.

The government had begun evacuating people from areas prone to flooding and landslides as early as 24 December, said Joey Salceda, governor of the affected province of Albay.

But more people will likely be moved as the weather bureau forecasts rain until 2 January, he added.

"We are right now transferring a whole village - 533 people - to an evacuation site," Mr Salceda said.

Some villagers insist on returning to their houses to watch over their property or get personal items despite the danger, he said.