Russian leader extends condolences to typhoon-hit Philippines

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday expressed condolences to the people of the Philippines, where a powerful typhoon has claimed at least 229 lives.
MOSCOW, June 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday expressed condolences to the people of the Philippines, where a powerful typhoon has claimed at least 229 lives.

Typhoon Fengshen roared through the Southeast Asian nation late Saturday, causing landslides, severe flooding and damaging dozens of fishing boats. Some 700 people are still missing, and local authorities fear the death toll could rise.

"I learned with regret about the natural disaster in the Philippines that has wreaked havoc and resulted in many deaths," Medvedev said in a message to his Philippine counterpart, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, according to the Kremlin.

In central Philippines, a ferry carrying more than 860 people sank during the typhoon. More than 30 people have been found alive and at least 10 have been reported dead, while the rest are listed as missing.

The civil defense agency said a total of 612,000 people have been evacuated. The damage from the disaster is yet to be evaluated.

The typhoon is moving northwest toward southern China at 15 km (9.3 miles) per hour, and is expected to reach the country on Tuesday.

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