At least 160 killed by landslides in the Philippines

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Friday, October 9, 2009

At least 160 people were killed on Thursday after torrential rains caused mudslides in the Philippines.

This is the latest in a series of storms that have hit the country, beginning on September 26, causing the worst flooding seen in the Philippines for four decades. Over 450 people in total have been killed due to the storms.

Most of the casualties from the mudslides were in the Benguet and Mountain provinces, located on the Cordillera mountain range around two hundred kilometres north of the capital Manila.

The rains also caused flooding in several dozen towns in the province of Pangasinan, and caused some dams to overflow with water.

Rescue efforts were hampered because roads were blocked off by mud. Helicopters could not fly in the area due to inclement weather, and rescue teams had to travel by foot to reach affected areas.

"We are focused on rescue at this time. It is raining nonstop in the Cordilleras," said the spokesman for the government's disaster-relief agency, Lieutenant-Colonel Ernesto Torres.