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Flooding, landslides leave 45 dead in Philippines: govt

by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP) Feb 28, 2008
Persistent heavy rain has left 45 people dead and displaced hundreds of thousands in the Philippines, the government said Thursday.

Ten additional deaths were reported in six provinces in the eastern Bicol region, from the 35 already reported last week, while 31 people were reported injured, the Office of Civil Defence said.

Landslides and floodings have affected 137 towns in the Philippines since last week, and have displaced some 873,000 residents who sought shelter in evacuation camps, it said.

Weather forecasters say more flooding was expected in the coming days.

In the latest incident, up to four feet of water inundated the town of Sulop in southern Davao del Sur province, forcing 15 families to seek shelter in a Catholic church which was on higher ground.

Landslides also cut off gold panning areas in Compostela Valley in Mindanao due to continuing rains.

A 52-year-old man was crushed to death by a boulder near a mine site, while a section of the highway leading to Albay province remains closed to traffic.

President Gloria Arroyo has ordered immediate relief assistance after declaring towns in at least four provinces in a state of crisis.

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