180 dead in Philippine storm
Manila - The death toll from tropical storm
Washi surged to 180 on Saturday with nearly 400 people missing in flash floods
that ravaged the southern Philippines, officials said.
Regional military spokespeople told reporters
97 bodies were recovered in Cagayan de Oro, a major port on Mindanao island,
and 75 were found in Iligan, a nearby southern port, accounting for most of the
They said 375 people were still missing from
the two cities alone.
Colonel Leopoldo Galon told reporters army
troops using trucks, boats, and helicopters had rescued at least 2 000
residents of Cagayan de Oro.
Separately, Lieutenant-Colonel Randolph
Cabangbang said 15 people who had been swept to sea off Iligan had been
Washi struck the island's east coast on
Friday, also triggering a landslide that killed five people, while three people
drowned in the southern town of Polanco.
The storm is expected to slam into the
western island of Palawan on Saturday night after crossing across the Sulu Sea
with peak winds of 75km/h, the state weather service said.