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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Six dead as storm exits Philippines (AFP)

MANILA (AFP) – Six people were killed and 27 others were missing at sea as Tropical Storm Sarika headed out of Philippine waters Friday with many communities still flooded, rescuers said.

Four people drowned in the major southern island of Mindanao earlier this week while a boy died after falling into a swollen creek in Batangas city near Manila, and a woman drowned on the central island of Tablas, they said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said 26 Filipino fishermen were missing near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

One crew member of a barge went missing as the vessel, which was carrying agricultural products, was driven by strong winds off the town of Sariaya, south of Manila, it added.

Several hundred people remained at evacuation centres across Luzon early Friday while waiting for floodwaters to recede, the disaster council said in its latest update.

Sarika was heading for southeastern China on Friday with peak winds of 65 kilometres (40 miles) an hour, after brushing the west coast of the main Philippine island of Luzon, the state weather service said.

An average of 20 storms and typhoons, some of them deadly, hit the Philippines every year.

Last month, tropical storm Aere left 31 people dead before Typhoon Songda killed another three.

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