(CNN) -- Forty people have died as massive floods continued to hit areas of the Philippines, emergency officials said Wednesday.
Recently flooding hit the eastern Philippines island of Samar, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in a statement.
Heavy rains that started January 1 have affected more than 1.2 million people in 23 provinces, the disaster council said.
The rain has also caused dangerous mudslides and more than 1,200 homes have been damaged.
Thousands of families were being helped at the many evacuation centers that had been set up throughout the country, the disaster council said.