Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Mali: Jihadist group announces death of french hostage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Tutu cautions ANC: South African peace laureate criticizes ruling party

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Clamping down on jihad propaganda online

Read more

DEBATE

Homegrown Jihadists: France Sets Out Plan to Monitor Web and Support Families (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Homegrown Jihadists: France Sets Out Plan to Monitor Web and Support Families

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukrainians turn Russian 'evidence' into meme

Read more

FOCUS

Copenhagen seeks to decriminalise use of cannabis

Read more

FACE-OFF

French president's advisor resigns: A new blow for François Hollande

Read more

ENCORE!

Films as plays, plays as films and TV at the cinema

Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • UN: Millions of Syrians desperately need aid

    Read more

  • Muslims in CAR pray for an escape route

    Read more

  • US soldiers arrive in Poland as Ukraine crisis continues

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

  • French hostage Gilberto Rodrigues Leal has died, Islamists say

    Read more

  • 'Pope-mania' hits John Paul II's Polish hometown

    Read more

  • French actress Catherine Deneuve to sell €4 million château

    Read more

  • Chelsea, Atletico draw 0-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch offensive in the east after politican 'tortured'

    Read more

  • Echoes of 2pac and Biggie? French rap feud turns violent

    Read more

  • New French film tackles grisly anti-Semitic murder

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Philippines typhoon death toll tops 1,000

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-12-16

The death toll from a typhoon that ravaged the southern Philippines in early December has risen to more than 1,000 and could go higher, the government said on Sunday. Typhoon Bopha was the worst natural disaster to hit the country this year.

The death toll from a typhoon that devastated the southern Philippines earlier this month has topped 1,000 as hundreds more remain missing, the government said on Sunday.

Typhoon Bopha killed 1,020 people, mostly on the southern island of Mindanao where floods and landslides caused major damage on December 4, civil defence chief Benito Ramos said.

A total of 844 people remain missing, about half of them fishermen who ventured out to sea before Bopha hit, Ramos said, adding he feared many of the missing were dead.

"The death toll will go higher. We found a lot of bodies yesterday, buried under fallen logs and debris," he told AFP.

He added the toll from Bopha, the worst natural disaster to hit the country this year, would exceed the 1,268 confirmed dead after Typhoon Washi struck the southern Philippines in December 2011.

"We prepared. We were just simply overwhelmed," said Ramos.

"They did not expect this intensity. The last time (this part of the country) got hit by a strong storm was 1912," he added.

He added that many evacuation centres were destroyed by the typhoon.

More than 27,000 people remain in such centres almost two weeks after Bopha hit as the search for the dead and missing continues, the civil defence office said.

Colonel Lyndon Paniza, spokesman of the military forces in the worst-affected region, was less optimistic of finding any survivors.

"We are on (body) retrieval mode already. We are done with search and rescue," he told AFP.

Paniza, who oversees the hardest-hit regions which suffered over 960 dead, said he expected the death toll to rise further.

"It has been 12 days already so it looks like (survival chances) are doubtful," he said.

Among the casualties were seven soldiers who were killed and four who remain missing after they were hit by flash floods while doing relief work, he said.

In the southern town of New Bataan, which suffered over 500 dead, including 235 bodies that are still unidentified, people still struggled to recover, building makeshift shelters out of scrap wood and rags.

Town Mayor Lorenzo Balbin said the toll of the dead may even be larger than the official lists because many transients, who pass through the town of work on small-scale mines and plantations, do not even register as residents.

With no one to report them missing, their deaths may go unnoticed, he said.

The situation in the town, which was largely flattened by the typhoon, had improved slightly as more relief aid was reaching the area.

Trucks from government and private relief agencies were seen entering New Bataan, handing out much-needed food to villagers still stunned by the storm's fury.

Balbin said the focus now was on finding new crops to replace those destroyed by the typhoon.

The storm has caused massive damage to infrastructure and agriculture, destroying large tracts of coconut and banana trees.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council initially estimated damage to crops and public infrastructure at 7.16 billion pesos ($174 million).

The Philippines is hit by about 20 major storms or typhoons each year that occur mainly during the rainy season between June and October. Bopha was the strongest typhoon to strike this year.

(AFP)

Date created : 2012-12-16

  • IN PICTURES

    Typhoon Bopha wreaks havoc in southern Philippines

    Read more

  • PHILIPPINES

    Philippines death toll from Typhoon Bopha climbs

    Read more

  • PHILIPPINES

    Battered Philippines braced for fresh rainstorms

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)