Philippines flood death toll rises

Jan. 12, 2011 at 11:28 PM

MANILA, Philippines, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Widespread flooding and landslides in the Philippines claimed the lives of seven more people, raising the death toll so far to at least 40, officials said.

The disaster, triggered by the northeast monsoon and a cold front, had hit mainly the Mindanao, Eastern Visayas, Southern Tagalog regions and affected more than 1.2 million people, the Philippine Star reported Thursday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said those killed either died in landslides or by drowning. Damage to agriculture, infrastructure and private properties has been estimated at more than $20 million but was expected to rise.

The report said about 4,800 of the affected families remained in evacuation centers. Several thousand were staying with relatives as evacuations continued.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino planned to visit the affected regions, the Star report said.

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