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Storm in Phillipines kills hundreds

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Storm in Phillipines kills hundreds

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A tropical storm has hit the southern Philippines, triggering flash floods that officials say have killed more than 430 people and left many missing.
An army spokesman said many villagers on the north coast of Mindanao island were swept into the sea after Tropical Storm Washi brought heavy rain.
Iligan and Cagayan de Oro cities have been hard hit, with many victims asleep as the floods swept into their homes.
Tens of thousands of people have fled to higher ground, the authorities say.
The Philippines usually has about 20 major storms and typhoons a year.
But this one caught the people of northern Mindanao by surprise, as it’s an area which is usually bypassed by the worst of the country’s extreme weather.
This is the most ferocious storm to hit the region since the 1970s.
Officials say they warned residents about Washi’s approach yesterday, but many people dismissed the dangers and went to bed as normal, only to wake up as the waters rapidly rose.

Benito Ramos, head of the national disaster rescue agency, said the floodwaters had risen alarmingly fast overnight. (BBC)