‘Pablo’ death toll may reach 1,500



The death toll from Typhoon “Pablo” will likely hit 1,500, making it the second deadliest since the country began keeping records, Benito Ramos, head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), said on Saturday.

Ramos said that so far, the council had counted 1,067 dead with more than 800 still missing nearly three weeks after the typhoon, internationally named “Bopha,” struck with winds up to 200 kilometers per hour, devastating communities and farmlands.

“It (the death toll) will go higher. But let us not assume the missing are already dead,” he told Agence France-Presse, estimating fatalities at “about 1,500” but adding that the search for the missing continued.

The toll from Pablo is expected to exceed the 1,268 confirmed dead from Tropical Storm “Sendong” (Washi) a year ago. If it reaches 1,500, it would make it the second deadliest storm to hit the Philippines since 1947, when the Philippines began keeping records a year after independence.

Tropical Storm “Uring” (Thelma), which killed at least 5,101 in 1991, remains the deadliest on record, the government statistics bureau said. Typhoon “Nitang” (Ike), which claimed 1,363 lives in 1984, is listed as second.

Thousands of people remain homeless after Pablo brought flash floods that wiped out whole towns.

However, Ramos expressed confidence there would be no rise in health problems as the government had brought enough food and medicine to care for those affected.

“It will be contained. The government presence is felt by the people already,” he said.

In the hard-hit town of New Bataan in Compostela Valley, a forensics team from the National Bureau of Investigation was working double time so that 351 bodies could be identified and buried, according to Marlon Esperanza, the municipal information officer.

Of the unidentified bodies, 111 are in coffins while 240 others are in body bags in the damaged public cemetery, where the NBI examination was being conducted.

Esperanza said relatives wanted to bury the unidentified corpses, but the task of digging a common grave was being hampered by rain, which also was making search operations difficult.

“People are still searching for family members and friends,” Esperanza said.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Claretian Pastoral Care of the sick have deployed volunteers to conduct stress debriefing to the families of typhoon victims in New Bataan.

“Many of the survivors have lost their livelihood and family members. Through the sessions, we hope to ease the tension, anger and other negative emotions brought by Typhoon Pablo,” said Fr. Arnold M. Abelardo, head of the 13-member Claretian volunteers.

The DSWD has deployed seven teams of social workers to conduct stress debriefing in the affected provinces. Reports from AFP, Cynthia D. Balana in Manila, and Dennis Jay Santos, Inquirer Mindanao

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  • catmanjohn

    PAGASA has no balls nor vision. On Nov. 27th, the U.S. Navy typhoon warning center issued warning of a typhoon (Pablo) developing over the Soloman Islands that would eventually pack wind speeds of 130 nautical miles. On that same day, PAGASA’s web site stated that there were ‘NO TYPHOONS IN PHILIPPINE AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY’, which was irresponsible, dangerous, and myopic in vision. Whether they are constricted by law or by ineptitude, they should at least issue an ‘awareness report’, even if that storm system never enters the Philippine area of responsibility. Having several days vs just one day warning can make a big difference. PAGASA should be allowed to interject any hazardous weather bulletins in any national or local TV and radio stations. Weather reporting at a local level is dismal in most ares.The DENR has obviously shown its ineptitude in dealing with mining and lumber companies that strip the lands with no regard to their toxic spill off or run off from storms. The way DENR operates must be evaluated and held more accountable by the Aquino government. The Aquino government has shown some ineptitude in dealing with the response to victims. After Sendong, one would think that a response task force would be available for such disasters, where thousands of tents and a fleet helicopters would be made available to aid the victims.Let us hope that improvements are made before the next disaster strikes.

  • Your_King

    WOW!!! All the news lately is how death toll rises and how bad damages are. What is lacking from this same news is how Aquino is helping the victims. The reason for that could be because he is not.

    • Yobhtron

      Nagbabasa ka ba ng news. Isinisisi mo naman kay Pnoy.  Tumulong ka at  magbigay ng donasyon at huwag reklamo ng reklamo. Unless iyan lang ang alam mo sa buhay at magreklamo.

      • Your_King

        Truth is truth. Aquino is not doing nearly enough to help those victims. The donations that you are seeing are from other countries like the US, Australia, Thai, etc…

  • Yobhtron

    Dapat dito magpakitang gilas ang mga pakialamerong mga obispo ng RCC. Kaso busy silang lahat sa pangangalap ng tax free donations para sa Vatican.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1619887578 James P Mulroy

    Year after year the same thing happens and nothing is done about it wake-up Philippines 1500 lives lost. Make the people move to a safe area so the world does not have to help you out 2 or 3 times a year it’s getting old real fast.

  • kilabot

    not true. the abnoying truth is there is zero casualty according to noykapon, and everyone is supposed to abnoyingly believe.

  • Commentator

    The government was expecting typhoon Pablo to land on Surigao not on Davao Oriental that is why they were caught by surprise.

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