Thursday, June 30, 2011

Davao flood death toll now 29

A photo released to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner by the Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division shows a rescuer carefully removes the body of a child stuck in debris after flash floods hit Davao City in the southern Philippines. Army officials say 29 people had died from the flash floods after the Davao River overflowed due to heavy rains.

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 30, 2011) – Four more bodies of children swept away by flash floods have been recovered on Thursday in Davao City in the southern Philippines, as rescuers continue to search for at least a dozen people still missing in the calamity, officials said.

Officials said the death toll has now reached 29, mostly children, after heavy rains late Monday overflowed the river and triggered flash floods. At least five villages were underwater, some as high as 20 meters, Mayor Sara Duterte said.

She said the waters have subsided and thousands of families affected by the floods have returned to their homes.

Troops were still searching for at least 12 people reported missing since Tuesday.

“We are still helping in searching for the missing and so far four bodies had been recovered on Thursday – a baby boy and a 16-year old girl, a four-year old girl, and a nine-year old boy – and the death toll is now 29, ten of them adults and the rest all children,” Army Major Rosa Maria Cristina Manuel, a spokeswoman for the 10th Infantry Division, told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.

Duterte said the river had overflowed during heavy rains in the past, but the latest calamity submerged all four areas where the 150-km Davao River traverses.

“This is not the first time that the river has overflowed but it is the first time that it overflowed in all 4 areas at medyo mataas yung tubig. It's more than 10 meters in some parts and in some, up to 20 meters. Completely submerged yung ibang lugar. Yung iba inabot ang second floor,” she said. (Mindanao Examiner)

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