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Philippine floods death toll reaches 51

MANILA, January 17, 2011 (AFP) – The death toll from nearly three weeks of torrential rains that caused flooding and landslides across large parts of the Philippines rose to 51 on Monday, officials said.

Rescuers recovered four more bodies from a swollen river on the central island of Negros at the weekend, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

The public has been warned, especially along the country’s eastern seaboard, to brace for more rain this week, which could worsen the crisis that began in late December.

The floods have affected at least 1.5 million people, while 8,800 have sought shelter in evacuation centres, the council said.

Troops are supporting relief and rescue operations in the 25 affected provinces.

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