17 Dec 2011

Death toll in Philippines now nearly 180

9:01 pm on 17 December 2011

A typhoon has hit the southern Philippines, triggering flash floods and landslides that killed nearly 180 people and forced about 100,000 from their homes.

Typhoon Washi hit the island of Mindanao with winds gusting up to 90 kms an hour and heavy rain.

An army spokesperson says emergency workers have recovered the bodies of 97 people, most of them children, who drowned in floods in Cagayan de Oro City.

Seventy-five people drowned in Iligan City.

The national disaster agency says five miners were also buried in a landslide.

One official told Reuters the death toll could rise as hundreds of people were unaccounted for when entire villages were wept into the sea by the floods.

Many people were asleep when the floods hit.

Typhoon Washi also left wide areas without power, brought ferry services to a halt and grounded some domestic flights.