Safety, need compete in typhoon-hit Philippines
NEW BATAAN, Philippines (AP) — The government's geological hazard maps show why this farming community was largely washed away by a powerful typhoon: "highly susceptible to flooding and landslides." That didn't stop some villagers from rebuilding Thursday, even with bodies still lying under the mud.
Most of the more than 370 people confirmed dead from Typhoon Bopha were killed in the steep mountain valley that includes New Bataan, a town crisscrossed by rivers and cleared from lush hillsides by banana, coconut, cocoa and mango farmers in 1968. Flooding was so widespread here that places people thought were safe, including two emergency shelters, became among the deadliest.
In the impoverished Philippines, where the jobless risk life and limb to feed their families, there is little the government can do once such danger zones spring up.
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