400+ Dead in Philippines Flood

Many were caught sleeping
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 17, 2011 10:11 AM CST
Philippines Flooding Leaves More than 400 Dead
Police approach a distraught resident in Cagayan de Oro city.   (AP Photo/Froilan Gallardo)

Pounding rain from a tropical storm swelled rivers and sent walls of water crushing into two southern Philippine cities in the thick of night, killing at least 436 people, many caught in their beds, officials said today. The Philippine Red Cross says the latest toll was based on a body count in funeral parlors. Of those, 215 died in Cagayan de Oro and 144 in nearby Iligan, and the rest in several other southern and central provinces.

Most of the dead were asleep last night when raging floodwaters tore through their homes from swollen rivers and cascaded from mountain slopes following 12 hours of pounding rain in the southern Mindanao region. The region is unaccustomed to the typhoons that are common elsewhere in the archipelago nation. Many of the bodies in parlors were unclaimed, indicating that entire families had perished. (Read more Philippines stories.)

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