U.S. troops ferry aid as storm toll rises
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The U.S. military trucked in supplies and marshaled helicopters and Navy ships as the Philippines struggled with the aftermath of back-to-back storms that have left more than 600 dead.
After pulling six people from landslides late Thursday and early Friday, Filipino rescuers said they remained hopeful of locating more survivors in the stricken north of the country, but retrieved only bodies yesterday.
With roads blocked and bridges washed away, the Philippine government's resources have been stretched thin. Officials have asked U.S. troops in the country for an annual military exercise to extend relief operations.
Troops from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, based in Okinawa, Japan, had just finished rescue and cleanup work around the Manila, which experienced the worst flooding in more than four decades after Tropical Storm Ketsana dumped record rains Sept. 26. That disaster displaced about 1 million people and killed 337 in the capital and surrounding provinces. More than 287,000 remain in evacuation centers.
Then Typhoon Parma struck Oct. 3 and has lingered as a tropical depression for about a week, also over the main northern Philippine island of Luzon. It has dumped more heavy rains, triggering floods and landslides that have killed at least 276 people.
First Published October 11, 2009 12:00 am