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Hundreds still missing after Philippines typhoon

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Hundreds still missing after Philippines typhoon


The number of confirmed victims of severe flooding in the southern Philippines has risen sharply. The authorities have announced 200 more deaths caused by Typhoon Washi and its aftermath.

Several hundred people are still missing and the final toll is likely to be much higher than the current figure of almost 1,500.

Many bodies are still thought to be buried in the mud and debris left behind after torrents of water cascaded through coastal and riverside areas on Mindanao island in mid-December.

More than 10,000 houses were destroyed and 300,000 people forced to leave their homes, especially in and around the cities of Cagayan De Oro and Iligan.

The region, unused to tropical storms, was poorly prepared.

Tens of thousands are in emergency shelters. Many are likely to be moved into tents for several months, awaiting new permanent housing.

President Benigno Aquino has ordered an investigation, asking why people had been allowed to build houses in danger zones and illegal logging had not been stopped.

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