Typhoon May Have Washed Away 'Entire Families'

Philippines death toll rises to 350 with 400 still missing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 6, 2012 7:30 AM CST

(Newser) – A powerful typhoon that washed away emergency shelters, a military camp, and possibly entire families in the southern Philippines has killed almost 350 people with nearly 400 missing, authorities said today. More bodies were retrieved from hardest-hit Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental provinces and six others impacted by Tuesday's storm, the Office of Civil Defense reported.

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At least 200 of the victims died in Compostela Valley alone, including 78 villagers and soldiers who perished in a flash flood that swamped two emergency shelters and a military camp. "Entire families may have been washed away," said the country's interior secretary. The scene was a wrenching one in New Bataan, where bodies of victims were laid on the ground for viewing by people searching for missing relatives. Some were badly mangled after being dragged by raging floodwaters over rocks and other debris. A man sprayed insecticide on the remains to keep away swarms of flies. A father wept when he found the body of his child after lifting a plastic cover. (Read more Philippines stories.)

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