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Hundreds flee as rain-induced flooding submerges Davao villages anew

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Xinhua) - More than one thousand people have fled their homes as rain-induced flooding swamped a large swath of southern Philippines today, authorities said.

In Davao del Norte province, more than 800 people have fled after torrential rains since Friday caused several rivers there to overflow, submerging over a dozen villages in at least four towns and a city, according to Sonio Sanchez, provincial disaster officer.

Neighboring Compostela Valley province, still recovering from last month's devastating Typhoon Bopha, is also flooded, with at last 178 families or about 890 individuals from the province forcibly herded by army, police and rescue teams to evacuation centers, Raul Villocino, provincial disaster officer, told Xinhua by text message.

"We've been implementing pre-emptive evacuation to prevent a repeat of last month's disaster," Villocino said of the forced evacuation.

Authorities said rescue teams have already been deployed to help evacuate residents.

Flooding was also reported in some low-lying areas in this city, including parts of the city proper along the Davao river, said Jacob Obligado, commander of the army's 10th civil-military operations battalion.

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The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the tail-end of a cold front is affecting Mindanao, bringing light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms over the region.   

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