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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 September 2006, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
Philippines pounded by typhoon
Residents wade through a flooded street in Manila
Parts of Manila were flooded by the heavy rains
At least eight people have been killed and several are missing in the Philippines after Typhoon Xangsane brought fierce winds and rain.

Roads were cut off, schools and ferry services closed and flights grounded as the storm raged across the central and northern parts of the country.

Manila was brought to a stand-still as heavy rain left parts of the capital waist-deep in water.

Xangsane has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

But it is expected to pick up momentum as it moves towards Vietnam, where it is due to make landfall on Sunday.

Roads blocked

More than 4,000 ferry passengers were stranded after the coastguard stopped vessels from leaving ports.

In one town on the island of Panay, 100 residents escaped rising flood waters by climbing on the roofs of their homes, officials said.


Rescuers used boats to reach the stranded residents after emergency helicopters were grounded because of the weather.

Xangsane, packing 130km/h (81mph) winds, made landfall in the central Bicol region overnight before heading towards Manila.

Debris left roads, including a main regional highway, impassable, while power cuts were reported in six provinces - hampering rescue efforts.

Three people - including a nine-year-old boy - were killed in Panay's Antique province, acting governor Eduardo Fortaleza was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

At least four people were feared dead after a landslide south of Manila. And in Cavite province, also south of Manila, preliminary reports said 30 people were missing after a dam burst, a local governor said.

Most flights and sea travel in and out of Manila were cancelled as the storm approached.

The financial markets, government offices and schools were closed as heavy rain and strong winds began to pound the capital.

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