December 17, 2011 by staff
Tropical Philippines, A tropical storm has hit the southern Philippines, triggering flash floods that officials say have killed more than 430 people and left many missing.
An army spokesman said many villagers on the north coast of Mindanao island were swept into the sea after Tropical Storm Washi brought heavy rain.
Iligan and Cagayan de Oro cities have been hard hit, with many victims asleep as the floods swept into their homes.
Tens of thousands of people have fled to higher ground, the authorities say.
Benito Ramos, head of the national disaster rescue agency, said the floodwaters had risen alarmingly fast overnight.
“Massive flooding had been reported over the region, especially in Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City,” he said
Rivers burst their banks after more than 12 hours of continuous rain.
Television pictures of the aftermath showed smashed homes and cars and debris strewn across streets and clogging drainage canals.
Philippine National Red Cross Secretary General Gwen Pang said at least 430 people had been killed.
She said 215 people had been killed in Cagayan de Oro and 144 in Iligan. The figures were based on a count of bodies brought to funeral parlours, she told Associated Press news agency.
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