Death Toll Rises in Philippine Floods

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The death toll from floods and mudslides in the Philippines has risen above 650, with more than 900 people still missing, the Philippine Red Cross reported Sunday.

The government said more than 45,000 people have been dispaced from their homes by the storm, which first struck late Friday night on Mindanao Island.

"It's overwhelming," said Benito Ramos, head of disaster response for the Philippines, The Associated Press reported. "We didn't expect these many dead." Rescue teams are still finding many bodies floating in the sea.

Residents reportedly failed to heed national weather service warnings issued three days before the typhoon hit.

By Sunday the weather system, which had been downgraded to a tropical storm, blew out of the area.

Power outages and lack of potable drinking water are two of the main needs facing survivors of the widespread flooding.

An average of 20 storms strike the Philippines annually.


AP and euronews contributed to this report.

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