‘Pablo’ death toll reaches at least 267

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07:58 PM December 5th, 2012

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MANILA, Philippines—At least 267 have been reported dead in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley provinces, the two areas that were directly hit by typhoon “Pablo” (international name: Bopha), the military said Wednesday.

As of 5:30 p.m., 151 casualties have been recorded in Compostela Valley and 116 in Davao Oriental, Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza of the Army 10th infantry division said in a radio interview.

There were also at least 151 injured persons and 21 missing persons in Compostela Valley while in Davao Oriental 175 have been injured and 57 were still unaccounted for, Paniza said.

A rescuer covers bodies recovered from flashflood in New Bataan, Compostela Valley province, on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. AP PHOTO/KARLOS MANLUPIG

The casualties in Compostela Valley include four soldiers who were undergoing search-and-rescue operations but unfortunately perished when they were swept away by strong currents.

Paniza said the soldiers were helping civilians get to higher grounds when the land they were standing on gave way and the strong water current swept them away. Twenty-three other soldiers were injured while seven were missing.

He said the fallen soldiers will be given a hero’s burial and that their relatives had been informed.

Typhoon Pablo was spotted 110 kilometers northwest of Roxas in northern Palawan and was moving slower northwest at 15 kilometers per hour, according to the 5 p. m. weather bulletin from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

Pablo was still packing maximum sustained winds of 120 kph and gustiness of up to 150 kph, Pagasa said.

Signal No. 3 remains in northern Palawan and the Calamian group of islands. The rest of Palawan is still under signal No. 2 while only Occidental Mindoro remains under signal 1, Pagasa said.

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