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Typhoon kills at least 109

December 01, 2006|From the Associated Press

MANILA — Typhoon Durian tore through the eastern Philippines with winds up to 139 mph Thursday, killing at least 109 people and cutting off power to thousands of homes, officials said.

At least 20 died when a mudslide swept down on the village of Padang, at the foot of the Mayon volcano, with such force that some victims' clothes were ripped from their bodies, Noel Rosal, mayor of Legazpi, said today.

"I could not bear to look at some of them," he said.

Elsewhere in Albay province, 26 people were killed in Santo Domingo and 13 were missing, and nine deaths were reported in Daraga, said Jukes Nunez of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council.

About 30 people were injured by boulders and roofing materials in Padang and taken to hospitals, Rosal said.

"The request for rescue is overwhelming," he said. "The disaster managers are victims themselves."

The typhoon weakened early today as it moved north of Mindoro island, south of Manila, with sustained winds of 94 mph and gusts up to 116 mph, heading toward the South China Sea.

Rescuers struggled against strong winds to free residents whose roofs were torn off, exposing them to rain and flying sheets of metal, Naga Mayor Jessie Robredo said. With telephone lines down, many residents whose houses were damaged by the wind sought help by sending cellphone text messages.

The civil defense office said electricity was cut off to thousands of people in the area.

In late September, Typhoon Xangsane left 230 people dead and missing in and around Manila.

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