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Subject Philippines flood toll passes 650 as search continues
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Original Message The number of people killed in the Philippines by floods triggered by Tropical Storm Washi has risen to 650.

Soldiers and volunteers are still searching for the 800 people reported missing on southern Mindanao island.

Many were trapped in their homes as the flash floods coincided with high tides. In some places entire villages are reported to have been swept away.

Authorities have been criticised for not giving enough warning of the storm's severity.

However the state disaster agency said adequate warnings had been given to officials and residents three days before it reached land on Friday.

The BBC's Kate McGeown in the capital Manila says most of the 20 typhoons and major storms that hit the country each year affect the north - and many in Mindanao were unprepared for the severity of Tropical Storm Washi.

[link to www.bbc.co.uk]
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