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The Boston Globe

World

Once thriving, Philippine city now in shambles

Survivors stagger through long days with no supplies

TACLOBAN, Philippines — Decomposing bodies still lie along the roads, like a corpse in a pink, short-sleeved shirt and blue shorts facedown in a black, muddy puddle 100 yards from the airport. Down the road is a church that was supposed to be an evacuation center but is littered with the bodies of those who drowned inside.

When a wind-whipped ocean rose Friday night, the ground floors of homes hundreds of yards inland were submerged within minutes, trapping such residents as Virginia Basinang, a 54-year-old retired teacher, who suddenly found herself struggling in waist-deep water on the second floor of her home. Screaming people bobbed in the water that surged through the streets, many grabbing for floating debris.

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