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Philippine typhoon kills 650

[ 2011-12-19 17:05]     字号 [] [] []  
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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 cope with storms.

Cagayan de Oro and nearby Iligan on Mindanao island were worst hit when Typhoon Washi slammed ashore while people slept 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, with more than 800 missing.

"Our office was swamped with hundreds of requests to help find their missing parents, children and relatives," said PNRC Secretary-General Gwendolyn Pang. "We're helping coordinate the search with local government, army, police and even other aid agencies."

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

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

The state disaster agency said adequate warnings had been given to officials and residents three days before the typhoon made landfall on Friday.

Disaster and health officials were struggling to deal with the scores of bodies that have been recovered. Some were stacked one on top of each other in mortuaries that were unable to cope with the numbers of dead.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Chinese embassy in the Philippines said it will donate 440,000 pesos ($10,000) in relief funds through the PNRC.

So far, no Chinese nationals have been found dead in the flash floods, a Chinese embassy official said on Sunday. An official with the Chinese consulate in Cebu said there were reports so far of casualties among Chinese citizens.

(中国日报网英语点津 Rosy 编辑)

Philippine typhoon kills 650

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Philippine typhoon kills 650

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.