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Flash floods in Philippines kill 25; 15 missing

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MANILA » Flash floods triggered by torrential rains swept away dozens of houses in the southern Philippines and killed at least 25 people, mostly children, officials said today. At least 15 other people were missing.

About 20,000 families were affected by floodwaters when heavy rains swamped six villages in Davao city late Tuesday, overflowing rivers and triggering a deluge that reached 10 feet high in some places, said Liza Bago of the Davao City Social Services and Development Office.

About 1,475 families sought refuge in four emergency shelters, civil military affairs officer Maj. Jake Obligado said. He said at least 15 people were still missing.

Army Lt. Marianette Vinluan said troops who responded to calls for help from the villagers were blocked by the deep and raging floodwaters.

When they finally reached the affected areas early today, they found toppled vehicles, houses and trees, she said.

She said 15 of the dead were children under age 10, including a 9-month-old infant.

"It is muddy here and it is starting to rain again," she said by telephone from one village. "The sky is dark and the people are scared again."

Regional civil defense officer Antonio Cloma said at least 50 houses were destroyed and 214 others were damaged.


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