Nearly 1,000 Dead After Philippines Typhoon - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Nearly 1,000 Dead After Philippines Typhoon, Disaster Agency Reports

Photo courtesy MSNBC.Com Photo courtesy MSNBC.Com

MSNBC.COM - Nearly 1,000 were killed when flash floods and landslides caused by Typhoon Washi swept through riverside and coastal villages in the southern Philippines late last week, the national disaster agency said on Tuesday.

The agency said 957 were killed and 49 were missing, with most of the casualties coming from the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. The previous death toll was 650.

Authorities in the two cities, worst-hit by water, mud and logs swept down mountains, are struggling to prevent disease from spreading in crowded evacuation centers and have started digging mass graves to bury decomposing bodies.

President Benigno Aquino will visit the two cities later on Tuesday. The government said more than 338,000 people were affected by the disaster.

With funeral parlors overwhelmed, authorities in a flood-stricken southern Philippine city on Monday organized the first mass burial of some of nearly 700 people who were swept to their deaths in one of worst calamities to strike the region in decades.

Estimates of the staggering death toll from Friday night's disaster, spawned by a tropical storm, spiked, have varied widely, though the latest spike underscored the difficulty in accounting for people who could be buried in the mud and debris littering much of the area or could be alive but lost in crowded evacuation centers or elsewhere.  "We lost count of how many are missing," Benito Ramos, head of the government's Office of Civil Defense, admitted earlier on Monday. click here to read more

 

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