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Storm’s death toll rises in Philippines

Associated Press / July 28, 2011

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MANILA - Heavy rains and floods battered the northeastern Philippines for a third day yesterday, swamping homes of about a half million people. The death toll was raised to at least 25, with 31 missing.

Waist-deep flood waters swamped the houses of nearly half of the population of eastern Albay Province after Tropical Storm Nock-ten set off pounding rains beginning Monday and caused residents to seek shelter in churches and village halls, said Governor Joey Salceda.

Rafaelito Alejandro, the regional civil defense chief, said flood waters in Albay started to subside by noon yesterday after the storm made landfall in Aurora, about 230 miles to the north. It packed maximum winds of 59 miles per hour and gusts of up to 75 miles per hour.

Alejandro said at least 20 people died in the Bicol region.

Eight of those were buried in landslides in Albay’s Polangui township and in nearby Camarines Norte Province.

Other fatalities included a mother who was bitten by a poisonous snake that was swept into her home by a flash flood near the Albay provincial capital of Legazpi.

Civil defense administrator Benito Ramos said two drowned in Cavite Province and one each in the provinces of Quezon, Marinduque, and Iloilo.

Many domestic flights were canceled and ferry passengers were stranded.

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