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Swept Away By Strong Currents

Flood in the Philippines takes lives of 3 French tourists

Aug 08, 2009

At least three French tourists and two local guides were killed in the northern Philippines after being swept away in a flash flood caused by torrential monsoon rains, officials said.

An earlier report had said the victims were Canadian, but they were later confirmed to be French.

The three were among a group of French and South Korean tourists traveling to Mount Pinatubo on Thursday, said the governor of Tarlac province, Victor Yap. Pinatubo is a volcano located about 90 kilometers north of Manila that last erupted in 1991 after five centuries of dormancy.

Six other French tourists — three men, including one with a fractured shoulder, and three women — were taken to the Central Luzon Doctors' Hospital in Tarlac city and were to be taken to Manila later in the day, said officials.

The tourists were traveling Thursday in three all-terrain vehicles when a landslide blocked their path, trapping one of the cars. Yap said the tourists told him the waters rose suddenly and they were swept away by strong currents.

The bodies were recovered separately early Friday, he said.

The mayor of a northern Philippines town had said earlier the two dead were Canadians. Capas Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan originally said three Canadians were traveling with the South Koreans.

At least seven other Filipinos died in the flooding, including two people in the Botolan area, two in Tarlac province, as well as three children — siblings aged 7 to 13 — in the city of Baguio, said local officials.

Severe flooding in the Philippines in the past few days has forced an estimated 400,000 people from their homes. At least 22 people have been killed.

Flood in the Philippines takes lives of 3 French tourists
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