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Typhoon Mitag death toll rises to 22 in Philippines
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16:45, November 28, 2007

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Waves caused by Typhoon Mitag capsized two small passenger ferries in a lake overnight, killing at least three people and raising the overall death toll to 22 in the Philippines, local media reported on Wednesday.

The ferries were crossing Taal Lake, south of the country's capital of Manila when strong winds brought about by the typhoon triggered huge waves, Philippine television network ABS-CBN citing rescuers reported.

Three people were confirmed drowned, while about 30 others were rescued. Six others remain missing.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Philippine National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said in a report that a total of 19 people have been confirmed killed by landslides, flashfloods and other storm-related accidents in seven northern provinces that bore the brunt of the storm. Eight others were confirmed missing due to Mitag's onslaught.

The report said that according to the Department of Public Works and Highways, a total of 162,017,000 pesos (3.79 million U.S. dollars) worth of infrastructure were damaged by the storm while the Department of Agriculture estimated the storm's damage to crops at 109,648,281 pesos (2.56 million dollars).

Meanwhile, the Department of Education said school buildings damaged by the storm amounts to an estimated 210,825,000 pesos (4.93 million dollars). Local governments also reported 3,733 damaged houses due to Mitag's lashing.

The NDCC also reported that the storm affected 120,607 families or 552,344 people in the country.

In its 11 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) weather bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said "Mitag" has finally dissipated over the Philippine Sea after leaving a trail of destruction in various parts of the country.

However, Pagasa said it continues to closely monitor "remnants" of the weather disturbance, saying it is possible that these may still "regenerate."


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