MANILA: At least 13 people died on Friday and more others were missing after a strong overnight downpour flooded a number of towns in Maguindanao province in southern Philippines, reported Xinhua, quoting a local official.

Citing initial report, Nasrullah Imam, head of the Maguindanao provincial disaster risk reduction and management office, said the 13 died from drowning or landslides. The office is still assessing the situation.

Maguindanao is a province located in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Local media reported the heavy rain is related to the tropical storm Nalgae that is expected to make a landfall this Sunday on main Luzon island. According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration, Nalgae is expected to strengthen into a severe tropical storm on Friday, and into a typhoon by Saturday.

The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries globally, mainly due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire and Pacific typhoon belt. On average, the archipelagic country experiences 20 typhoons yearly, some of which are intense and destructive.-Bernama

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