- - Thursday, December 6, 2012


NEW BATAAN — The government’s geological hazard maps show why this farming community was largely washed away by a powerful typhoon: “highly susceptible to flooding and landslides.”

That didn’t stop some villagers from rebuilding Thursday, even with bodies still lying under the mud.

Most of the more than 370 people confirmed dead from Typhoon Bopha were killed in the steep mountain valley that includes New Bataan, a town crisscrossed by rivers and cleared on lush hillsides by banana, coconut, cocoa and mango farmers in 1968.

Flooding was so widespread here that places people thought were safe, including two emergency shelters, became among the deadliest.

In the impoverished Philippines, where the jobless risk life and limb to feed their families, there is little the government can do once such danger zones spring up.

More than 400 people remained missing Thursday after the typhoon struck the southern Philippines this week.


Spy chief wounded in assassination bid

KABUL — Afghanistan’s intelligence chief was wounded in an assassination attempt in Kabul on Thursday, officials said.

Asadullah Khalid, head of the National Directorate of Security, was injured in a grenade attack in a spy-agency guesthouse, police said.

There were few details on the attack. Police said Mr. Khalid was wounded by a grenade, but unconfirmed reports by senior government officials said it had been a suicide attack.

Mr. Khalid’s condition was not clear immediately, and there was no immediate word on what had happened to the attacker.


Chinese bus drivers get bail after strike

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