Typhoon kills over 400 in southern Philippines

Red Cross says death toll expected to rise due to flash floods and landslides that forced tens of thousands to flee from their homes.

By REUTERS
December 17, 2011 18:33
1 minute read.
Cars swept away by floods in Philippines typhoon

Philippines Typhoon 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines - More then 400 people have been killed and hundreds more were missing after a typhoon hit the southern Philippines, National Red Cross Secretary-General Gwendolyn Pang said on Saturday.

She said in a text message to Reuters that the death toll of 426 was expected to rise due to flash floods and landslides that forced tens of thousands to flee from their homes.

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Typhoon Washi, with winds gusting up to 90km/h (56 mph), hit the resource-rich island of Mindanao late on Friday, bringing heavy rain that also grounded some domestic flights and left wide areas without power.

The Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) said the death toll was caused by flash floods in Mindanao and another island. Soldiers and police were recovering more bodies washed ashore in nearby towns.

"The death toll might still rise because there are still a lot of missing people," said Pang, adding that the hardest-hit areas were in the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro.

Almost 400 people were unaccounted for, most of them from a coastal village in Iligan. Houses were swept into the sea by floodwaters while people were sleeping inside late on Friday.

Five miners were killed in a landslide in Monkayo on Mindanao and another 21 people drowned on the central island of Negros, the PNRC said.

The Philippines social welfare department said about 100,000 people were displaced and brought to more than a dozen shelters in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro.

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