Atlanta 12/20/2011 4:29:25 AM
News / Weather

Tropical Storm Washi Kills 927 In Philippines

Tropical Storm Washi ripped through the southern Philippines over the weekend leaving death and destruction in its wake. According to an official with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Washi forced an estimated 88,000 people to abandon their homes and seek shelter at evacuation centers. In all, more than 167,000 people were affected by the storm.

Washi brought heavy rain and flash flooding to Mindanao Island. Entire villages were swept away and landslides were reported in some areas. As of Monday, the death toll had climbed to 927. Officials say at least five deaths were caused by a landslide and nearly all of the others were from flooding. The majority of the dead were found in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, according to officials.

"They (the dead bodies) were washed out to sea. They were underwater for the first three days but now, in their state of decomposition, they are bloated and floating to the surface," Benito Ramos, head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council,  told AFP. “The death toll will rise again (in the morning) when more bodies surface."

Meanwhile, aid workers continue to help survivors who are without electricity, food and clean water while rescuers search for hundreds of people still missing. United States president Barack Obama offered to help in “humanitarian assistance and recovery efforts.”


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