December 18th, 2011
03:03 AM ET

Death toll from Philippine storm reaches 548; hundreds missing

Devastation from a tropical storm that deluged the southern Philippines mounted on Sunday, with the death toll rising to 548, military officials said.

About 370 people are missing, the Philippine Red Cross said, after entire villages were swept away. The agency offered a different death toll than the military - 532 - but it was not clear why.

The stench of death permeated the air as aid workers scrambled to help survivors.

The vast majority of the dead were found in the port cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, according to military and disaster officials. Water-logged bodies from washed-away villages floated at the shoreline, on the northwestern coast of Mindanao island.

Five people were killed in a landslide, but virtually all others died in flash flooding after Tropical Storm Washi, which is called Sendong locally.

Survivors in the hardest-hit areas now contend with no electricity and a lack of clean drinking water. One woman in Cagayan de Oro collected murky brown floodwater in a bucket, just meters away from where a destroyed vehicle was submerged.

Flash flooding overnight Friday - following 10 hours of rain - fueled the devastation. As much as 20 centimeters (8 inches) of rain fell within 24 hours in some areas.


Filed under: Flooding • Philippines • Weather • World • World Update
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. ┴┴∩И╛╛∩Я ( ½ ELF slayer & ½ BUGBEAR KILLER )

    wth... are all these people playing in the storm drain or what?

    December 18, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Ethel

    Why is that no headline news with regards to this! Isn't this one a huge new over 500 people died and counting. Maybe coz it is a third world!

    December 18, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. ┴┴∩И╛╛∩Я ( ½ ELF slayer & ½ BUGBEAR KILLER )

    no one cares about the phillipenes,,, even tho they are a major reason we won ww2..

    December 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. banasy©

    This is horrendous.
    My heart goes out to the people of the Philippines.

    December 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply


    December 18, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. ikeeptrying

    They kicked our base out our military could have helped them.

    December 18, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.