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Tropical Storm Leaves Hundreds Dead in the Philippines

By: WTB BLOGGER  

Hundreds are swept away by floods, landslides are causing devastation in the Philippines and one man is killed by a crocodile while securing his boat.

Mudslides and flooding triggered by a tropical storm in the Philippines have killed over 200 people, authorities have said.

Most of the deaths were in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur, and on the Zamboanga Peninsula, Romina Marasigan from the government’s disaster response agency said.

The death toll rose throughout Saturday as officials pulled dozens of bodies form a swollen river.

In the fishing village of Anungan, more than 30 people were swept away by flash floods. Sibuco town mayor Bong Edding said five bodies had been recovered so far.

“The floodwaters from the mountain came down so fast and swept away people and houses,” Mr Edding said.

“It’s really sad because Christmas is just a few days away. But these things happen beyond our control.”

Mr Edding blamed the tragedy on years of logging in the mountains near Anungan, and said he and other officials would seek to halt logging operations.

Emergency workers, soldiers, police and volunteers have been mobilised to search for survivors, clear debris, and restore power and communications.

Thousands of people were moved to emergency shelters, while thousands more were stranded at air and sea ports.

Ferries were stopped from going out in rough seas and flights were cancelled. One boat sank after being lashed by winds on Thursday night, leaving five people dead and 250 passengers rescued.

The storm gathered strength over the Sulu Sea, bringing winds of up to 50mph, forecasters said.

It was heading west and would be out over the sea later on Sunday.

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