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Philippines Floods: Death Toll Goes Down To 1,249

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A man on a motorbike is transported on a raft over the Kapay river, one of the three rivers that overflowed during the typhoon Washi, in a remote area in Iligan City, southern Philippines on December 25, 2011. (NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty

MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine disaster management officials say the number of people who died in massive flash floods in the southern Mindanao region a week ago was smaller than earlier reported.

Civil Defense chief Benito Ramos said Tuesday that he has corrected an earlier death toll from the health department of nearly 1,500 to 1,249 based on an actual count of identified and unidentified bodies recovered by soldiers, police, firemen and other rescue workers.

He says the exact number of missing could no longer be determined but the search for bodies will continue.

He says rains overnight Monday over the eastern provinces of Mindanao have forced the evacuation of thousands of families, many by helicopter.