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Philippines counts the cost of Typhoon Washi

Richel Umel / Reuters

An aerial view shows damage caused by floods following Typhoon Washi in Iligan City, in the southern Philippines island of Mindanao on Dec. 19, 2011.

Dennis M Sabangan / EPA

People search for their belongings in a village that was devastated by rampaging flood waters, in Iligan on Dec. 19, 2011.

Ted Aljibe / AFP - Getty Images

A resident stands next to an overturned vehicle swept away at the height of the devastating floods, in Iligan on Dec. 19, 2011, two days day after Typhoon Washi wrought havoc in the city.

Erik De Castro / Reuters

Policemen search for missing Typhoon Washi victims in a subdivision of Iligan city on Dec. 19, 2011.

msnbc.com news services report from ILIGAN, Philippines :

 With funeral parlors overwhelmed, authorities in a flood-stricken southern Philippine city on Monday organized the first mass burial of some of nearly 700 people who were swept to their deaths in one of worst calamities to strike the region in decades.

The staggering death toll from Friday night's disaster, spawned by a tropical storm, remained little changed but the number of missing varied widely. Official figures put the missing at 82, while the Philippine Red Cross estimated 800.

"We lost count of how many are missing," said Benito Ramos, head of the government's Office of Civil Defense.

Disaster agencies delivered body bags, food, water, and medicine to crowded evacuation centers throughout the region.

The government said nearly 143,000 people were affected by the flash floods and landslides. Read the full story.

More photos in our slideshow.

Previously on PhotoBlog: Storm, floods hits south Philippines