Death toll in S Philippines flash floods reaches 43

08:42, July 14, 2011      

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The death toll in flashfloods due to heavy rains in the southern Philippines reached 43, officials said Wednesday.

Dr. Marlowe Ninal, health administrator in the southern city of Cotabato, said at least 13 people displaced by flooding died at the evacuation camp due to severe diseases.

He said two of the fatalities were children, of which one died of severe cold.

Ninal said medicine supplies were sufficient but the problem lies in the evacuees themselves.

Lawyer and city administrator of Cotabato Cynthia Sayadi said by phone over 2,000 families in the evacuation centre here are still at risk if they return to their flooded homes.

"We are thankful there was no outbreak of the disease. Even before they evacuated following the floods, some of them already have diarrhea," Sayadi said.

"We met non government organizations as well local government agencies. We discussed what possible rehabilitation plans are for the evacuees. Are they safe if they return home? We agreed and started sanitizing their villages," Sayadi added.

Flash floods also killed 30 people in Davao City late last month.

Earlier, Vanessa Tobin, UNICEF country representative, said by phone around 450,000 children in Mindanao staying at evacuation centers and affected communities are at risk of diarrheal diseases and pneumonia.

UN humanitarian agencies have been asked to provide enough food, medical supplies and other items to help people hit by widespread floods.

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