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Philippines flood deaths hit 650 | World news | guardian.co.uk

Rescuers are searching for more than 800 people missing in the southern Philippines after flash floods and landslides swept houses into rivers and out to sea, killing more than 650 people.

The cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan on the island of Mindanao were worst hit when typhoon Washi hit shore late on Friday and early on Saturday, sending torrents of water and mud through villages and stripping mountainsides bare.

The Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) said 652 people were killed in eight provinces in the southern Mindanao region, which is unused to typhoons.

"Our office was swamped with hundreds of requests to help find their missing parents, children and relatives," Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the PNRC, told reporters. "We're helping co-ordinate the search with local government, army, police and even other aid agencies."

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 12:24:32 PM EST
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