Manila: The death toll from flash floods that swept away entire villages in the southern Philippines has climbed to nearly 1,500 as authorities widen their search for bodies.
The Office of Civil Defense's latest tally today listed 891 dead in Cagayan de Oro and an additional 451 in nearby Iligan city. The rest came from several other provinces. Most of the dead are unidentified.
Civil Defense head Benito Ramos says decomposing remains were retrieved floating in the sea as far as 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the two cities where a December 16 tropical storm unleashed more than a month's worth of rainfall in 12 hours, sending walls of water gushing into homes.
Ramos says the search will continue as long as bodies are being recovered.