650 killed in Typhoon in Philippines, hundreds missing

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CAGAYAN DE ORO, PHILIPINES (BDCi) – Rescuers searched for more than 800 people missing in the southern Philippines on Sunday after flash floods and landslides swept houses into rivers and out to sea, killing more than 650 people in areas ill-prepared to deal with storms.

Cagayan de Oro and nearby cities on Mindanao island were hit the worst when Typhoon Washi slammed ashore while people slept late on Friday and early Saturday morning, sending water and mud through villages and stripping mountainsides bare.

The Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) said 652 people were killed in the eight provinces in the southern Mindanao region, with more than 800 still missing.

Floods washed away entire houses with families inside in dozens of coastal villages in Cagayan de Oro and lligan.

“This is the first time this has happened in our city,” Vicente Emano, mayor of Cagayan de Oro, said in a radio interview. He said officials in the area did not receive adequate warning before the typhoon struck.

By: Natania Levine

Courtesy: reuters.com

Photo: reuters.com

19 December 2011

10:09 a.m P.S.T

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