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Philippines typhoon death toll soars to 77 as new storm threatens

Published on Jul 19, 2014 12:06 PM
A woman hangs newly laundered clothes at a damaged house after Typhoon Rammasun (locally named Glenda) battered the town for two days, in Rosario, Cavite city, south of Manila July 18, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MANILA (AFP) - Disaster-weary Philippines braced for a second severe storm in five days on Saturday as the death toll from Typhoon Rammasun surged to 77, officials said.

While Tropical Storm Matmo was not forecast to hit the main island of Luzon, the weather service warned it would still bring heavy rains to the area over the weekend, along with the threat of flash floods or landslides.

"(Matmo) has entered the Philippine area of responsibility. We should get ready now before the heavy rains fall," President Benigno Aquino's spokesman Abigail Valte said in a warning broadcast over government radio.

The threat from Matmo came as the country picked up the pieces from Rammasun, the first major storm of the wet season and the deadliest since Super Typhoon Haiyan killed about 7,300 people in November last year.

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