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Thousands flee storm, persistent floods in Philippines

MANILA - Thousands of people fled rising floods and an approaching storm in a fresh round of evacuations in the Philippines, officials said Friday as the death toll from a week of foul weather rose to 37.

Nearly 13,000 people left their villages along the flooded banks of the Agusan river on the southern island of Mindanao in the past 24 hours, the civil defence office in the region said in an updated report.

"The rains come to this region around this time, but this year has been terrible," John Uayan, an operations official for the government agency, told AFP.

The state weather office said a weather system off the Philippines’ east coast has turned into a tropical storm and would hit Mindanao’s coast on Saturday, increasing the danger to residents of the already flooded Agusan basin.

The storm looks set to spare the nearby region where Super Typhoon Haiyan left nearly 8,000 people dead or missing and made more than four million people homeless in November -- a rare piece of good news for the disaster-weary Asian nation.

But many in Mindanao were bracing for a fresh wave of appalling weather.

AFP


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