170 dead in typhoon in Philippines (Lead)

December 17th, 2011 - 5:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Manila, Dec 17 (IANS) At least 170 people have died and hundreds of others are missing after tropical storm Washin Saturday struck southern Philippines, officials said.

The storm caused massive flooding in the Mindanao region overnight, Xinhua reported. The toll is expected to rise.

At least 97 people have died in the Misamis and Cagayan de Oro areas, while 125 others were missing at these places, said Leopold Galon, one of the spokesmen for the Philippines armed forces. He said about 2,000 others were rescued.

Military trucks, boats, helicopters and ground troops have been deployed in the two areas for search operations.

In Western Mindanao, 75 people have died, said Western Mindanao command spokesman Randolph Cabangbang, adding that 15 people were rescued at sea, while 250 others were missing.

“We gave him (President Benigno Aquino III) a briefing on what happened and he instructed us to bring assistance to the victims,” said Benito Ramos, administrator of the office of civil defence.

“The flooding occurred around 2.30 a.m when the people were sleeping. The rains caused the silted river system to overflow,” Ramos added.

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