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Philippine President Declares State of Calamity as Typhoon Death Toll Climbs


Philippine President Gloria Arroyo has declared a state of national calamity after giant mudslides triggered by a typhoon killed hundreds of people.

Ms. Arroyo made the declaration Sunday as emergency workers searched through mud, rubble and fallen trees in villages across the country's east.

The Red Cross has confirmed at least 406 deaths, with another 398 people missing. The president of the National Red Cross, Richard Gordon, says the death toll could exceed 1,000.

Typhoon Durian rushed ashore Thursday. Pounding rains turned Mayon Volcano into a torrent of mud, volcanic ash and boulders that engulfed low-lying towns in Albay province.

The president's declaration authorizes the government to release funds for rescue and recover efforts in the hardest hit regions.

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