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Friday, August 7, 2009

Philippines Monsoon Deadly

MANILA, Aug 7: Monsoon rains inundated wide areas of the northern Philippines, triggering flash floods and landslides that killed at least 12 people, including two French citizens and a Belgian who were touring Mount Pinatubo, officials said on Friday. Nine European and three South Korean tourists were travelling on the volcano on Thursday when a landslide blocked their path, trapping one of their three vehicles, officials in Tarlac province said.

Three of the Europeans and their two Filipino guides were swept away by flash floods and their bodies were recovered on Friday, said Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan of Capas township near the volcano.

Rains also have battered Zambales province west of Manila since Wednesday. An air force helicopter plucked trapped people from trees and rooftops.

At least two people died in Botolan and surrounding areas, Zambales Gov. Amor Deloso said.

Police reported two other bodies had been recovered in Tarlac province.

Landslides in the Cordillera mountains killed three siblings aged seven to 13 in Baguio city, said an official. —AP

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