Mon, Oct 10, 2011 - Page 4 News List

Philippines’ death toll from typhoons rises

AFP and AP, MANILA

Philippine authorities yesterday said the death toll from two typhoons that pummeled the country two weeks ago had reached 101, with tens of thousands of people still displaced by massive flooding.

Typhoon Nesat, which struck Luzon’s low-lying agricultural plains, left 82 dead in its wake, while Typhoon Nalgae — which hit five days later — killed 19, the Office of Civil Defense said.

Most of those killed fell victim to floods that swept through Luzon, while the remainder were either electrocuted by fallen power lines or crushed by debris and landslides.

Twenty-seven remain missing, raising the prospect that the death toll could still rise.

More than 67,000 people remain in evacuation centers across more than 40 provinces in Luzon.

Philippine Social Work Secretary Corazon Soliman said those displaced were being served in 78 evacuation centers, although tens of thousands more needed help after deciding to return home to houses immersed in waist-deep water.

“Affected families are now going home to start anew. Consequently, we are now preparing for their rehabilitation on top of the relief assistance being provided to those still in evacuation centers,” Soliman said in a statement.

Officials on Saturday said waist-deep floods in several Luzon towns would likely persist for one more month, with an area of low pressure hovering over the country continuing to bring rain.

Meanwhile, a popular Mao cap-wearing Filipino guerrilla, who gave a voice and face to one of Asia’s longest-running Marxist insurgencies as its spokesman with a common-folk touch, has died of a heart attack, his comrades said yesterday. He was 64.

The outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines said Gregorio “Comrade Roger” Rosal died in a guerrilla zone in the country’s north on June 22, but delayed the public announcement of his death until his daughters were notified. Reaching them was difficult because of intense military operations.

The party and its armed wing, the New People’s Army, mourned Rosal’s death in a statement, saying “his life of service to the revolution will serve as an inspiration to the people to carry forward their revolutionary struggles.” Maoist guerrillas will pay a tribute with gun salutes on Saturday, the party said.

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