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33 dead or missing in Philippines storm
Updated: 2004-11-30 09:55

At least 33 people were dead or missing in floods and landslides unleashed by a storm in the northern Philippines, rescuers said.

Fourteen people were killed and 14 others were missing in the town of Real, on the east coast of the main island of Luzon, Lieutenant Alex Manuel, an air force spokesman, told DZBB radio here.

A Philippine Air Force rescue worker evacuates a young survivor from a flashflood in the main island of Luzon, northern Philippines, last week. At least 33 people were dead or missing in floods and landslides unleashed by a storm. [AFP]

Local television station ABS-CBN screened aerial footage of Real survivors pointing at 14 bodies sprawled on the ground amid flattened coconut trees.

Real and neighboring Infanta town were flooded overnight Monday amid the onslaught of the tropical depression, civil defense office spokeswoman Neri Amparo said here.

"Ninety-five percent of Infanta is under water, and so is Real," she added.

Rescuers were unable to reach Infanta after flood waters swept away a bridge leading to the town, she said on ABS-CBN.

Power was cut in both towns, the civil defense office said.

Elsewhere on Luzon, three men were electrocuted in the town of Montalban east of Manila while another victim drowned in the eastern Manila suburb of Marikina.

Another man was buried alive in a landslide near Vinzons town on the Bicol peninsula. The landslide injured three other people, the civil defense office said.

Military helicopters and rescue units in boats were sent to pluck scores of passengers of three buses marooned by floods at a highway near the town of San Leonardo, west of Real, Amparo said.

The tropical depression struck Infanta and Real on Monday before dissipating over the Sierra Madre mountain range, the weather bureau here said.

It displaced nearly 1,800 people while nearly 600 others were stranded at ferry crossings between Luzon and the central islands.

Meanwhile, a tropical storm bore down on the Philippines from the Pacific Ocean with maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers (53 miles) an hour.

The storm was estimated to be 1,940 kilometers (1,200 miles) east of the eastern island of Samar at dawn and moving northwest at 19 kilometers (12 miles) an hour, meteorologists said.

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