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Philippines typhoon toll reaches 19: disaster council

by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP) Nov 3, 2009
Philippine authorities on Tuesday reported three more deaths from Typhoon Mirinae, which battered the storm-weary nation at the weekend, bringing the total number of those killed to 19.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council said the deaths were due mostly to drowning and occurred in suburban areas just south of Manila and in two eastern provinces.

Three other people are missing primarily due to flash floods, the council said. Almost 16,000 people are still in evacuation centres three days after the typhoon hit.

Floodwaters remain waist-deep or higher in Laguna province south of Manila and in Pangasinan to the north, after Mirinae dumped more rain on areas already inundated by two previous deadly storms.

Waters reached as high as 10-feet (3.1 metres) in some places during the height of Mirinae, the council said.

The evacuation of more than 115,000 people in the days before the typhoon struck resulted in fewer casualties compared with the two other storms, the council said.

Mirinae slammed into the Philippines' main island, Luzon, on Saturday, dumping heavy rain and bringing strong winds just weeks after tropical storm Ketsana and typhoon Parma left about 1,100 dead and tens of thousands homeless.

Earlier relief and rehabilitation efforts were continuing for the more than 87,000 people left homeless by these storms, who were also staying in evacuation centres.

Tropical storm Ketsana caused massive flooding in Manila and surrounding areas on September 26. A week later, typhoon Parma lashed northern Luzon, hovering over the area for a week and causing widespread destruction.

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