Philippine typhoon death toll rises to 111

07/23/2010 - MANILA — The death toll from a typhoon that struck the Philippines last week has risen to 111, but a miracle rescue offered hope that dozens of other people still missing may survive, the government said on Friday.

The number of dead jumped from 79 after 32 bodies, mainly those of fishermen, were found in recent days, said Benito Ramos, administrator for the Office of Civil Defence.

Ramos said rescue workers were continuing to search for 45 other people still missing after Typhoon Conson slammed into the country on July 13.

"We are not losing hope that some of them could still be alive. They may be adrift at sea," he told reporters.

He cited the dramatic rescue on Monday of three fishermen who survived on seaweed and raw fish while their damaged boat drifted at sea for six days.

"The (army), coast guard, and others are still there conducting search operations. They were inspired by the story of the three, of their will to survive," Ramos said.

"The troops will not go home until they recover the missing, whether they are already dead or still alive."

The three survivors were rescued by fellow fishermen, and are now recovering in relatively good conditions at a local clinic, Ramos said.

Conson directly hit Manila and other parts of the main island of Luzon with a ferocity that caught weather forecasters by surprise.

It left Manila and much of Luzon without electricity for two days. (AFP)

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