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Philippine flood waters start to recede (Reuters)

MANILA (Reuters) – Rescue helicopters and boats distributed food, water and medicine to thousands of Filipinos marooned in flooded towns north of the capital on Monday and authorities said water levels were starting to recede.

Wide areas of rice-producing Bulacan and Pampanga provinces have been submerged since late last week after the Philippines was hit by two typhoons. A third storm may develop this week.

Typhoons Nesat and Nalgae killed nearly 60 people, with 36 still missing, and damaged about 9 billion pesos worth of crops and infrastructure on the main island of Luzon, the national disaster agency said on Monday.

Josefina Timoteo, head of the civil defense office in the central Luzon region, said water levels has started to recede in some areas in Bulacan, allowing delivery of relief goods to isolated coastal areas.

"I was told the water level has gone down by one foot since Sunday morning," Timoteo told reporters. "As long as there's no new typhoon and more rains, it will normalize in about a week."

Government engineers were trying to clear landslides in the north to allow delivery of relief goods, and the restoration of electricity and telephone services.

Weather forecasters are now watching another lower pressure area in the Pacific because it might develop into a new typhoon and hit the same areas.

(Reporting By Manny Mogato; Editing by John Mair)

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