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25 dead in Philippine flash flood
by Staff Writers
Davao, Philippines (AFP) June 29, 2011

Twenty-five people were killed and up to 15 others were missing as a flash flood triggered by heavy rains devastated a riverside community in the Philippines, rescuers said Wednesday.

The downpour drenched large parts of Davao city on the southern island of Mindanao on Tuesday night, causing the Matina river to rise and flood its banks, officials said.

"Davao City experienced the highest level of floodwaters to date, reaching up to 10 feet (three metres)," the government's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in a statement.

Military rescuers have so far recovered 25 corpses after most of the floodwaters subsided Wednesday, said Major Jacob Obligado, commander of a local army battalion taking part in the search and rescue effort.

Three of the bodies had not been identified and it was unclear if they included some of the 15 residents declared missing from the area or if there were other previously unknown victims, Obligado told AFP.

Lieutenant Marianette Vinluan, one of Obligado's subordinates, said up to 15,000 families fled their submerged homes with the military's help in the mostly poor community along the river.

Last week, Tropical Storm Maeri also caused flooding and forced the evacuation of 90,000 people in the capital Manila and in nearby provinces.

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