Latest Stories

‘Pablo’ death toll may reach 1,000, say authorities

By , ,

Residents affected by typhoon Pablo (Bopha) crowd as relief goods are distributed at New Bataan, Compostela Valley, on Sunday Dec. 9, 2012. Authorities fear that the death toll due to typhoon Pablo could reach 1,000 as almost 600 bodies have been recovered in the two hardest-hit Mindanao provinces. AP PHOTO/BULLIT MARQUEZ

TAGUM CITY, Philippines—Authorities fear that the death toll due to typhoon Pablo (international codename: Bopha) could reach 1,000 as almost 600 bodies have been recovered in the two hardest-hit Mindanao provinces.

The stench of rotting bodies have become unbearable, prompting rescuers to immediately bury the bodies after they were found, said Capt. Raul Villegas, of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, based in Mawab town, in Compostela Valley.

“We are still hoping we can find survivors,” Villegas said on Sunday. “But the chance (of finding anyone alive) is getting thinner by the hour.”

Search operations on the fifth day after the disaster were concentrated in the devastated town of New Bataan, where sniffer dogs have been deployed to lead teams from police, Army and rescue groups to bodies buried under fallen trees or thick mud that enveloped a large swathe of the desolate town.

At least 316 bodies have been found in Compostela Valley, 165 of them in New Bataan alone. The death toll there included four soldiers belonging to the Charlie Company of the Army’s 66th Infantry Battalion, said Villegas.

At least 441 people are still missing in New Bataan, and 20 others in other areas of the 11-town Compostela Valley.

Villegas said Davao Oriental has recorded 276 dead, including 122 in Baganga and 103 in Cateel municipalities. About 61 persons are still missing in that province.

Villegas said search operations would not be stopped, “’til we can.”

He said identification of the bodies has been a problem due to the heavy stench.

“The bodies are buried immediately with the consent of the relatives,” the military official said.

In Cateel, Davao Oriental, boys and girls are either just loitering aimlessly on the streets, helping their parents in the many tasks at hand, or are begging for food.

Darryl Blatchley, a member of a religious ministry in Davao city, who arrived with a jeepney loaded with relief goods, was overwhelmed with what he saw in the town.

“The villagers badly need food and we have yet to go to remote areas where people are in great need. It’s so sad that help has not reached to their area yet,” he said.

Due to the lack of resources, some villagers opted to bury their dead relatives in the lot where their houses once stood.

“Several of our neighbors had no choice. They do not have money to have a decent burial for the dead,” said Jerry Terio, 40, who has been helping his brother-in-law, who lost his parents and several other family members.

Liza Ayeng, 43, expressed her frustration over the fact that help from the government has not arrived.

“We have asked local politicians for help, but they just told us they have nothing to give,” Ayeng said.

Residents in Baganga town have also complained that they have not received relief goods from the government. They said relief goods were poured in Cateel, the hometown of Governor Corazon Malanyaon.

Leonor Escodillo said she had to leave Baganga for Mati City because they were getting hungrier by the day.

“Walang dumating na relief galing sa gobyerno. Mabuti pa ang GMA 7 nagbigay (No relief goods came from the government. It’s a good thing GMA 7 (television network) gave,” said Escodillo, who was with her one-year-old son on a bus to Mati City to live with her sister.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

More Philippine Weather News

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Bopha , Calamity , cyclones , Disasters , Evacuation , floods , Pablo , Philippines - Regions , relief and rehabilitation , rescue , typhoon casualties , typhoon death toll , typhoons , Weather

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  2. Gigi Reyes’ only option: tell all
  3. Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  4. Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return
  5. Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst
  6. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  7. Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  8. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  9. Healing priest invites political leaders to join ‘prayer for nation’
  10. ‘Malang’ next crocodile attraction after ‘Lolong’
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Car hits packed US church, injuring about 20
  • LPA enters PH, to bring rains and thunderstorms
  • Sing-along saint: Showbiz world gets papal inspiration
  • Two-thirds of underwater search done, no sign of MH370
  • S. Korea prosecutors turn to mobile app for ferry probe
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Business

  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Marketplace