Philippine Death Toll Rises To 70

MANILA (AFP) – The combined death toll from Tropical Storm Nock-ten and Typhoon Muifa in the Philippines has risen to 70, with threats of yet another storm in the rain-battered country, the government said Tuesday.

The toll, previously at 54, rose as two children were reported killed by a landslide at a quarry on the central island of Bohol on Sunday and another 14 victims were logged from Nock-ten, which hit last month.

A total of 178 passengers and crew were rescued from a listing ship off the central port of Iloilo on Sunday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

Muifa, named after a Chinese flower, stayed offshore on the Philippine Sea east of the main island of Luzon, but caused heavy rains and rough coastal waters. On Thursday it tipped over a boat on Manila Bay, causing two fishpond workers on board to drown.

Nock-ten, which struck Luzon a few days earlier, left 66 people dead and 17 others missing, according to the council’s updated toll.

Most Manila schools declared a holiday Tuesday as another weather disturbance loomed over Luzon’s west coast with the potential to develop into a storm, prompting the state weather service to forecast heavy rain and possible flooding.

An average of 20 storms and typhoons, many of them deadly, hit the Philippines annually. Nock-ten, named after a Laotian bird, was the 10th this year, and Muifa the 11th.

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