Philippines: Rescue crew wade through chest-high water to look for survivors after Tropical Storm Megi

At least 53 people have been killed in landslides and flooding in the Philippines as a result of Tropical Storm Megi.

Rescue crews are digging through mud and wading through chest-high water to look for survivors in flooded villages.

Officials have warned of the death toll from Sunday’s disaster climb.

Villages around Baybay city in the central Leyte province are worse hit. Hillside avalanches and overflowing rivers wiped out homes and buried many people alive.

City’s mayor Jose Carlos Cari said that at least 47 people in the area had been killed. In one village, Pilar, about 80% of the houses had been washed out to sea, AFP reported.

Philippines national disaster agency has also reported deaths in the southern Davao region, Mindanao and in the central Negros Orientals province.

More than 100,000 people in southern and eastern Philippines islands have been affected by the storm, authorities say.

Many fled their homes to shelters or higher ground on Sunday when the storm, known locally as Agaton, hit the archipelago with winds of up to 65km/h.

The rescue effort has been hampered by constant rain.

This was the first storm of the year, Philippines typically sees an average of 20 each year.

It comes about four months after Super Typhoon Rai devastated many of the nation’s south-east islands in December killing at least 375 people and affecting about 500,000 people.

It was the worst storm to hit the Philippines that year and experts said it had grown stronger far quicker than anticipated.

Scientists say human-caused climate change has led to a greater intensity and power in tropical storms. The Philippines has experienced some of its most deadly storms since 2006.

It’s been ranked as one of the nations most vulnerable to climate disasters due to its geography.