MANILA : AT least 200 people have been killed and scores are missing in the southern Philippines after a tropical storm triggered severe flooding and landslides-

THAT also wrecked Christmas for tens of thousands of survivors.

Tropical Storm Tembin lashed Mindanao island, home to 20 million people, on Friday with strong gusts and torrential rain, wiping out at least one mountain village and prompting a massive rescue operation.

Police said 144 remained missing, while more than 40,000 had fled their homes to evacuation camps as Tembin roared out into the South China Sea early yesterday.

Footage on ABS-CBN showed houses there destroyed or engulfed by floodwaters. Police, soldiers and volunteers used shovels and their bare hands to dig through mud and debris in their search for survivors.

And then, in one more of unending tragedy, Dozens feared dead in Davao mall inferno:

DAVAO : At least 37 people, including the call center staff of a United States firm, are believed to have perished in a fire that tore through a shopping mall in this southern Philippine city, local authorities said.

President Rodrigo Duterte, a Davao native, visited distraught relatives outside the burning building on Saturday.

He told them there was ''zero'' chance their loved ones survived, witnesses said.

The fire adds fresh misery for mainly Catholic Philippines at Christmas after a tropical storm after a tropical storm killed at least 200 people and displaced thousands in recent days, also mainly in the country south.

The World Students Society shares this moment of great suffering with the brave and great people of Philippines.


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