Rescuers are desperately searching for survivors after tropical storm Tembin hit the southern areas of the Philippines on Friday, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

The storm triggered floods and landslides, leaving around 70,000 homeless and taking the lives of at least 200 people.

ABC News reports that over 150 people are still unaccounted for.

The hardest hit area was the island of Mindanao, where rivers burst their banks and buried villages in flood water.

The death toll is expected to rise as rescuers and recovery crews make their way into more isolated areas.

ABC News quoted the chairman of the Philippines Red Cross, Richard Gordon, as saying “there’s an inordinate amount of people who are missing”.

Our people are there to look for people who have been lost, look for families who have lost and are still missing people, so we can provide them with social support, and try to find out whether their relatives who are missing are still alive.

The storm strengthened into a typhoon as it passed land and headed toward the South China Sea.

We’ll keep you updated as rescue efforts continue.

Image: Getty Images / Anadolu Agency