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Storm leaves 9 dead in landslides, floods in Philippines


BAGUIO, Philippines (AP) — A tropical storm set off landslides and flash flooding as it barreled over the tip of the northern Philippines overnight, and officials said Tuesday at least nine people had been killed and 11 were missing.

More than 1,600 villagers were evacuated from homes in several towns and cities swamped by floods and battered by pounding rains and wind that toppled trees and knocked down power. Tropical Storm Kompasu was last tracked over the South China Sea about 315 kilometers (195 miles) west of Cagayan province with sustained winds of 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour and gusts of 125 kph (78 mph), government forecasters said.

Four villagers died in two landslides that buried their houses in the northern mountain province of Benguet while a security guard was swept away by strong waves while inspecting a seaport and drowned in Claveria town in Cagayan, disaster response officials said.

In western Palawan province, four people died and four others went missing in flash floods in Narra town, which was drenched by monsoon rains enhanced by the storm. Coast guard personnel rescued elderly residents and children trapped in flooded homes Monday and carried them through floodwaters in a rural village in Brooke’s Point town in Palawan, the coast guard said.

About 20 storms and typhoons each year lash the Philippines, which also lies in the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a region often hit by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, making the Southeast Asian archipelago one of the most disaster-prone in the world.

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