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Typhoon Koppu: 16 dead, 60,000 displaced

Typhoon hits Luzon in the Philippines

At least 16 people have died as Typhoon Koppu dumped more intense rain on Luzon, the Philippines' biggest island.

The death toll is expected to rise.

One of the latest fatalities was Mr Fernando Laso Gumpad, 57, reported the Office of Civil Defense in the Cordillera Autonomous Region. He had gone to tend to his farm on Sunday morning but did not return home in the afternoon.

"At around 6pm that day, his wife and son decided to look for him and saw a landslide near their farm," reported the Philippines GMA News Online.

"They suspected that the victim was buried, so they grabbed a crowbar and hoe to dig. The finding of the victim's lifeless body was reported at around 12.30am yesterday."

Meanwhile, some residents of flooded farming villages were stranded on their rooftops yesterday, while animals floated down fast-rising rivers.

Koppu, the second strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year, has forced more than 60,000 people from their homes, according to the authorities.

In Santa Rosa, water buffalo, pigs, goats, dogs, washing machines and furniture lined the sides of a storm-tossed highway, where about 200 residents had been seeking refuge from the floods since Sunday night.

Mr Jun Paddayuman, 27, pointed to his house, which was submerged in flood waters. "The waters arrived suddenly. We did not expect it at all," he told AFP.

CARRIED OFF

When the waters first appeared in his house, he waded to the highway carrying his pregnant wife and leading his three-year-old son by the hand. He said he saw geese, chicken and dogs being carried off by the rampaging waters.

Military, government and volunteer rescue units in rubber dinghies were trying to help residents in dozens of flooded villages, according to regional rescue official Nigel Lontoc.

"The floods are rising fast and some people are now on their rooftops," he told AFP, adding that there were not enough rescuers and he did not know how many had been rescued.

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