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Philippine storm death toll rises to 73, 23 still missing
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21:22, September 27, 2009

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Seventy-three people were killed while 23 others remain missing one day after tropical storm Kestana battered northern Philippines, bringing epic rainfall that caused massive flooding and landslides, government officials said.

By 6 p.m. (1000 GMT) Sunday, 69,513 families in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces have been displaced after homes were destroyed and the government's temporary evacuation centers only managed to shelter around 12,000 families, or nearly 60,000 people, said Anthony Golez, Office in Charge of the National Disaster Coordinating Council.

Most of victims drowned while others were buried in landslides. A soldier and four para-military volunteers were dead while trying to save others, Golez said in the latest NDCC statement.

A Filipino girl is carried to safety through floodwaters in a suburb of Manila. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

Xinhua reporters at western suburban of Metro Manila saw over at housand displaced residents remain stranded in flooded towns, some without food as night nears. Rescuers had a hard time to reach them as access was blocked by crowds and lines of damaged vehicles.

Kestana, locally known as Ondoy, slammed into the Philippines early Saturday. As it swept across the central Luzon region in 24 hours, rains poured in the national capital and nearby 25 provinces, causing the worst flooding in four decades.


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