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Philippine floods toll hits 75

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 2 Feb 2011 10:02 GMT
Author: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011. Click For Restrictions.
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(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011. Click For Restrictions.
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MANILA, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The death toll in the Philippines from more than a month of sustained heavy rains has risen to 75, disaster agency officials said on Wednesday, warning of more floods and landslides in the country&${esc.hash}39;s eastern seaboard.

Damage to agriculture and infrastructure was estimated to have reached more than 2 billion pesos (${esc.dollar}45 million), but the rains have so far spared major rice and corn production areas in the north and western parts of the country.

About a third of the country&${esc.hash}39;s 80 provinces, mainly in central and southern regions, have been inundated by the rains that began in late December, with more than 2 million people affected.

Benito Ramos, head of the national disaster agency, said 32 people were missing, either swept by swollen rivers or lost at sea.

The weather bureau said it expected the rains, brought by the tail-end of a cold front, to continue until early March. Some areas in the south have recorded more than 1 metre of rain, more than 3 times the normal fall. (${esc.dollar}1=44 pesos) (Reporting by Manny Mogato; Editing by John Mair and Yoko Nishikawa)

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