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Philippines death toll rises in Typhoon Bopha

More than 250 people are believed to have been killed after a typhoon hit the southern Philippines. The death toll is expected to rise, with many more people still missing.

Officials on Wednesday said the death toll from Typhoon Bopha had climbed to more than 250 people, with hundreds still missing.

Most of the deaths were attributed to the effects of flash flooding, with the worst-hit area in and around the southern mountain town of New Bataan. More fatalities were reported along the east coast of the island of Mindanao.

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Death toll rising in the Philippines

Twelve civilians and six soldiers also died in other parts of the country, according to Lieutenant Colonel Lyndon Panizatold, a spokesman for the regional military.

The flooding in New Bataan was said to have hit a school and village hall where people had sheltered, Army Major General Ariel Bernardo told the AP news agency.

Officials have said they fear the toll will rise further, as rescuers begin to reach isolated areas.

Television footage showed logs being swept down Mindanao's Sumilao River, and utility workers cutting up fallen trees that were blocking highways.

They also showed large numbers of people lying on mats and cardboard sheets on the concrete floors of gyms that had been turned into temporary shelters.

A total of 146 flights to and from Mindanao and the central islands have been grounded since Monday night and more than 3,000 ferry passengers were stranded as vessels were ordered to stay in port, according to the civil defense update.

Large parts of Mindanao, which is not normally hit by typhoons, were still without electricity on Tuesday night, it said.

rc/msh (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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