08/02/2011, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Monsoon death toll in the Philippines rises to 70

Tropical Storm Nock-ten and Typhoon Muifa hit the archipelago in recent days, causing floods and landslides. Streets of Manila flooded, schools and government offices closed. The evacuation hindered by heavy traffic. More rain expected.
Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The official death toll of heavy rains - Tropical Storm Nock-ten and Typhoon Muifa - which hit the Philippines in recent days has risen to 70. The archipelago already battered by bad weather, is threatened by other storms that could exacerbate the number of deaths and devastation. The streets of Manila are flooded after a night characterized by intense monsoon showers. Meanwhile, the authorities have ordered the closure of schools and government buildings.

The toll, previously set at 54 dead, jumped July 31 following death of two children, buried by an avalanche in the central island of Bohol and the discovery of another 14 victims of the Nock-ten storm, which struck the Philippines in July. Rescuers were able to rescue 178 people, including passengers and crew members who were aboard a boat off the port of Iloilo in Western Visayas region. Another 17 people are still missing since the tropical storm hit.

Meanwhile the nation is preparing for the possible arrival of a new tropical storm, currently stationed off the west coast of Luzon. The Philippine Civil protection does not exclude the possibility of intense weather phenomena that determine heavy rains and possible flooding.

The authorities have ordered the closure of schools and public buildings, along with government buildings. Emergency personnel are engaged in evacuation operations in Manila, particularly in areas along rivers and canals. The evacuation is hampered by heavy traffic on the main highways leaving the capital.

Each year, the Philippines is hit by an average of 20 typhoons and tropical storms, many of which have a fatal outcome. Nock-ten, which takes its name from a flower typical of Laos, is the 10th of 2011, followed by Muifa.

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