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11 missing, 50000 evacuated in Philippine floods

MANILA » Officials in the Philippines say 11 people are missing and nearly 50,000 residents have fled to evacuation centers after Tropical Storm Meari triggered flash floods and rough seas.

Among the missing are 10 fishermen on three boats lost at sea off eastern Catanduanes province. A 54-year-old woman was swept away by strong river current in eastern Albay province.

Administrator Benito Ramos of the Office of Civil Defense said Friday that heavy rains overnight left a wide swath of metropolitan Manila and the northern Philippines flooded. Some 5,000 of those forced to evacuate live near the capital, and thousands of commuters have been stranded.

Classes have been suspended, government offices shut, and dozens of flights canceled.

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