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Archive for Monday, September 28, 2009

Tropical storm leaves dozens dead, missing

September 28, 2009

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— Many Filipinos tried to rebuild their lives today after saving little more than the clothes they wore in a tropical storm and the capital’s worst flooding in more than four decades. At least 86 people were dead and 32 missing.

Army troops, police and civilian volunteers plucked dead bodies from muddy flood waters and rescued drenched survivors from rooftops after Tropical Storm Ketsana tore through the northern Philippines on Saturday.

Ketsana dumped more than a month’s worth of rain in just 12 hours, swamping entire towns, setting off landslides and leaving neighborhoods in the capital with destroyed houses, overturned vehicles and roads covered in mud and debris.

The government declared a “state of calamity” in metropolitan Manila and 25 storm-hit provinces, allowing officials to use emergency funds for relief and rescue. At least 86 people were killed and 32 others missing, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro said today.

Meteorologists say the Philippines’ location in the northwestern Pacific puts it right in the pathway of the world’s No. 1 typhoon generator. Doomed by geography and hobbled by poverty, the Philippines has long tried to minimize the damage caused by the 20 or so typhoons that hit the sprawling archipelago every year. Despite a combination of preparation and mitigation measures, high death tolls and destruction persist.

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