About 350 die in Philippine typhoon, 400 missing



A resident dries their clothes amidst their toppled house at the flash flood-hit village of Andap, New Bataan township, Compostela Valley in southern Philippines Wednesday Dec. 5, 2012. Typhoon Bopha, one of the strongest typhoons to hit the Philippines this year, barreled across the country’s south on Tuesday, killing scores of people while triggering landslides, flooding and cutting off power in two entire provinces. AP/Bullit Marquez

NEW BATAAN, Philippines — Stunned parents searching for missing children examined a row of mud-stained bodies covered with banana leaves while survivors dried their soaked belongings on roadsides as the death toll from the southern Philippines’ powerful typhoon climbed to about 350 people Thursday with nearly 400 missing.

The Office of Civil Defense reported that more bodies were retrieved from hardest-hit Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental as well as six other provinces.

At least 200 of the victims died in Compostela Valley alone when Typhoon Bopha struck Tuesday, including 78 villagers and soldiers who perished in a flash flood that swamped two emergency shelters and a military camp.

“Entire families may have been washed away,” said Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who visited New Bataan on Wednesday.

The farming town of 45,000 people was a muddy wasteland of collapsed houses and coconut and banana trees felled by Bopha’s ferocious winds.

Bodies of victims were laid on the ground for viewing by people searching for missing relatives. Some were badly mangled after being dragged by raging floodwaters over rocks and other debris. A man sprayed insecticide on the remains to keep away swarms of flies.

A father wept when he found the body of his child after lifting a plastic cover. A mother, meanwhile, went away in tears, unable to find her missing children. “I have three children,” she said repeatedly, flashing three fingers before a TV cameraman.

Two men carried the mud-caked body of an unidentified girl that was covered with coconut leaves on a makeshift stretcher made from a blanket and wooden poles.

Dionisia Requinto, 43, felt lucky to have survived with her husband and their eight children after swirling flood waters surrounded their home. She said they escaped and made their way up a hill to safety, bracing themselves against boulders and fallen trees as they climbed.

“The water rose so fast,” she told The Associated Press. “It was horrible. I thought it was going to be our end.”

In nearby Davao Oriental, the coastal province first struck by the typhoon as it blew from the Pacific Ocean, at least 115 people perished, mostly in three towns so battered that it was hard to find any buildings with roofs remaining, provincial officer Freddie Bendulo and other officials said.

“We had a problem where to take the evacuees. All the evacuation centers have lost their roofs,” Davao Oriental Gov. Corazon Malanyaon said.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies issued an urgent appeal for $4.8 million to help people directly affected by the typhoon.

The sun shined brightly for most of the day Wednesday, prompting residents to lay their soaked clothes, books and other belongings out on roadsides to dry and revealing the extent of the damage to farmland. Thousands of banana trees in one Compostela Valley plantation were toppled by the wind, the young bananas still wrapped in blue plastic covers.

But as night fell, however, rain started pouring again over New Bataan, triggering panic among some residents who feared a repeat of the previous day’s flash floods. Some carried whatever belongings they could as they hurried to nearby towns or higher ground.

After slamming into Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, Bopha roared quickly across the southern Mindanao and central regions, knocking out power in two entire provinces, triggering landslides and leaving houses and plantations damaged. More than 170,000 fled to evacuation centers.

On Thursday, the typhoon was over the South China Sea west of Palawan province. It was blowing northwestward and could be headed to Vietnam or southern China, according to government forecasters.

The deaths came despite efforts by President Benigno Aquino III’s government to force residents out of high-risk communities as the typhoon approached.

Some 20 typhoons and storms lash the northern and central Philippines each year, but they rarely hit the vast southern Mindanao region where sprawling export banana plantations have been planted over the decades because it seldom experiences strong winds that could blow down the trees.

A rare storm in the south last December killed more than 1,200 people and left many more homeless.

The United States extended its condolences and offered to help its Asian ally deal with the typhoon’s devastation. It praised government efforts to minimize the deaths and damage.

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  • tonyoks

    now we can see pictures of the abject poverty we have in our “hinterlands, farming  communities and the reality of how the Republic of the Philippines” really stand.
    still a lot of lessons to BE learned….

  • bugoybanggers

    Dahil sa gahaman at walang tigil ng pag exploit sa kagubatan. Isisi ninyo sa mga BUWAYA ng LUZON na siyang dahilan sa pagkaubos ng kagubatan. Alam naman natin iyan noong dekada 50 hanggang 70, maraming logging firm ang nagwasak ng kagubatan sa may eastern Mindanao dala ng kasakiman sa pera. Ang yayabang pa nga noon ng mga LOLO na ngayon (ang iba nilamon na ng LUPA). Kamo pila BARKO ang Davao Gulf sa pagkakarga ng mga troso galing sa kabundokan. Ika nga nasaan na ba ang pinagBILHANg kita? Nakatulong ba kamo sa pag unlad ng lugar habang naKALBO na? Ayun naman pala, nasa MAKATI ipinag patayo ng gusali (para sikat ang METRO MANILA sa panglasa ng mga TAGALOG). Pera ng Mindanao napunta sa METRO MANILA! Nang maubos na ang mga matitibay na kahoy, pinagpilitan pa ang mga tao na magTANIM ng NIYOG at SAGING para pang export din. Yun ang dahilan kung bakit ang mga tao ay nainganyong manirahan at mamuhay sa lugar na iyan (na alam nila na delikado na). Ang masaklap pa, ang puno ng NIYOG at mga saging ay hindi makakapigil sa pagLAMBOT ng lupa. Kaya nga nagkakaroon ng FLASH FLOOD dahil yung mga itinanim ay hindi mga PUNONG pang pigil sa lupa na madaling palambutin ng ULAN. Ngayon kayong mga taga LUZON sasabihin ninyo na mga bobo ang mga tagaMINDANAO bakit hindi inalam ang resulta o ang panganib manirahan sa LUGAR na iyan? Sa totoo lang KAYUNG MGA TAGA LUZON ANG SUMIRA SA MINDANAO. Makikita namin na sana LAMUNIN ng MANILA BAY at LAGUNA BAY ang METRO MANILA para mamuhay ang mga TUNAY na BUWAYA ng BAYAN. Viva Mindanao, bangun MINDANAO!

  • WeAry_Bat

    “The United States extended its condolences and offered to help its Asian
    ally deal with the typhoon’s devastation. It praised government efforts
    to minimize the deaths and damage.”

    Just sign and follow the dam Kyoto protocol.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BL2GYU35SO6HTJUEAUTXS3QFYM George Lapulapu

      if the US followed international regulations (Kyoto, Child and Women Rights) the last two centuries, they will never be a rich country now.  

      • WeAry_Bat

        yes, around your comment, is where it all comes down to what is important:

        being rich in money
        or being rich in healthy environment?

        mass-producing, mass-consumption driven economies of many countries are not sustainable for the world.  one side effect, global change, is truly not profitable, but they don’t face, or rather, wouldn’t acknowledge that. 

        another side effect, man-made pollutants and man-made escalation of natural toxins (mercury, radioactive elements) which by nature, would go out in small amounts but now is highly accelerated by coal-fired power plants.

        another, expiration or forced destruction of over-supplied products.  tuna population is going down but we have lots of tuna cans in the groceries. so on.

        to turn the world around would be to ask all countries to go on board a worldwide logistics systems where they manage raw materials and the appropriate production of supply for foreseeable demand. 

        but mankind, or companies within nations, would rather go for profits.  they would harvest as much, then undercut the price to make competitors lose.  the rape of the world as it is now.

  • joboni96

    let’s help the victims

    and prepare for future calamities maghanda – magtago – magayos

    1. practical lessons in elementary school
    2. training in neighborhoods
    3. mindset of old independent rural pilipinos 1920s

    huwag gayahin mga taga haiti nakaupo lang at naghihintay ng abuloy

    go out and start fixing your place

    dito kailangan ng food for work

  • NoWorryBHappy

    We did our best.
    Warnings and evacuation efforts were carried out as early as possible.
    We can only help and do so much.
    Our sincerest sympathies to those affected.
    Kami ay taus pusong nakikiramay.
    Let us help those affected get on their lives back again.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKWKD2SIVBNXCVAXXFUN37OCY4 bsf

     Typhoon kills at least 283, hundreds missing,
    in southern Philippines. Remember the last time they attempted to pass
    the RH bill, Ondoy came on. Last August, God brought on the rain again
    that causes floods in Metro Manila & nearby areas when the time the
    RH Bill was forced passage was scheduled. It happened again and again
    when the controversial RH bill is up for voting. Let us pray for
    our lawmakers not to pass the RH bill and to listen to God’s way of
    telling that RH bill is not good and anti life. No to RH bill!!!

    • WeAry_Bat

      What if they were God’s way of showing the need for RH bill to be passed because more people would die in calamities from meager government help.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BL2GYU35SO6HTJUEAUTXS3QFYM George Lapulapu

      ..yeah right… you want want bodies killed and piled up with mud to prove that you listen to your god? amazing mind from people who calimed to protect life…

      ..by the way, where was the Roman Catholic when the loggers are cutting down the trees and mining the mountains?  ahh maybe busy recieving greaze money from loggers and dinning with the rich and the high hilled… i should know, the best friends of loggers in Mindanao are the Roman Catholic Priests.. and i did not get this from a god.. i got this from my experience in Butuan, go ask the Plazas…

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza


    • suroy_suroy

       Sorry, but this is arguing out of stupidity and no one can argue against stupidity.

  • Jaelsimone

     Being a foreigner married to a Filipina, I would criticize your government and criticize journalists.
    Not up to me to say these things, but the national newspapers that never return as a criticism of the government for administering your nation.
    First point, I hope that the government has called a Senator in charge of the territory and environment, his work aided by the leaders of the city of cities’ to secure the national territory. Make a plan and budget to see what are the problems that exist in these villages, and find a solution on this, but I believe that this plan does not exist.
    Second point, are the journalists to push through their articles in the newspapers to highlight the fact that you do not do the work to ensure the safety of citizens, I can not believe that each have there may be many dead ’cause the institutions do nothing. Third, all the mayors of the cities’ should have the engineers involved to see solutions to their villages, but this is not the case. But the problems are many in this country in all sectors that do not work. I can not explain in a few words what to do. I’m sorry for all the people who have lost their lives, and this seems absurd to me.   

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