Philippines: thousands evacuate over serious flooding hinh anh 1A flooded street due to heavy rains caused by tropical depression Vicky in San Francisco town on the southern island of Mindanao, Philippines. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Manila (VNA) – Nearly 10,000 people fled their homes in the northeastern Philippines as heavy rain across the country caused widespread and severe flooding, leaving at least eight people dead, authorities said on December 20.

The storm has inundated many villages and destroyed scores of houses in recent days.

According to a local official, floodwaters reached waist-deep in 14 towns in the Cagayan Valley in the northeast of the main island of Luzon, forcing close to 10,000 people to seek shelter in emergency centers.

The rain, which was intensified by the northeast monsoon, has filled Magat dam near to its critical level and the release of water threatens to worsen the flooding.

Authorities said at least six people drowned in two provinces on the major southern island of Mindanao, while two people were killed in a rain-induced landslide in the central province of Leyte.

The disaster-prone country is hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons every year. At least 148 people died and hundreds of thousands of houses were destroyed in a succession of recent typhoons in the past several months./.