More than 230 people killed by Typhoon Bopha as gusts of 93mph batter the southern PhilippinesCentral winds of 75mph and gusts of up to 93mph hit the affected areas
Destroyed homes, caused landslides and killed hundreds
Rescuers have reached most areas, but have found it hard to reach some isolated communities
18:15 GMT, 5 December 2012
The death toll from a powerful storm battering the southern Philippines has risen to more than 230, with hundreds missing in landslides and floodwaters, as Typhoon Bopha continues its destructive path across the island nation.
Tens of thousands of people were left homeless after gusts of up to 150kph (93mph), battered the large southern island of Mindanao.
Government spokeswoman Fe Maestre said at least 151 people died in the worst-hit province of Compostela Valley.
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Crisis: The death toll from a powerful storm battering the southern Philippines has risen to about 200
Relief effort: A resident who was rescued from her flooded home is assisted as she alights from a military truck
Rescue effort: A soldier of the 71st Infantry Battalion, 1001st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army assists a local resident to carry a sack along a flooded area in Compostela Valley
Strong winds battered beach
resorts and dive spots in northern Palawan earlier today, but there was
little damage as the storm began to weaken.
Hardest hit were the coastal, farming and mining towns in the southern Mindanao region, where Bopha made landfall on Tuesday, destroying homes, causing landslides and flash flooding and killing at least 230 people.
Arthur Uy, governor of the worst-hit province Compostela Valley in Mindanao, said raging water and mud from the mountains swept through school buildings, covered courts, town halls, and health centres where residents had taken shelter.
'The waters came so suddenly and unexpectedly, and the winds were so fierce, that compounded the loss of lives and livelihood,' said Uy in a telephone interview.
He said water catchment basins for farms on top of the mountains gave way due to the torrential rains, sending down heavy volumes of water to the flatlands.
About 60 people died in the
municipality of New Bataan alone and around 245 were still missing, Uy
said, adding the area was initially cut off by road blocks.
Communication is down and power had yet to be restored in the area.
Prepared: A Filipino volunteer of the ABS-CBN Foundation packs shoes that are part of gift and relief packs for areas in the country that have been affected by typhoons within the past year
Grief: A woman cries after identifying a relative who was one of the flash flood victims after Typhoon Bopha hit New Bataan in Compostela province
'The last thing my mother said was 'I
love you,' said Julius Rebucas, who's mother and brother were caught in
flash floods in Compostela Valley.
'It's sad because I no longer have a family.'
About 20 typhoons hit the Philippines annually, often causing death and destruction.
Typhoon Washi killed 1,500 people in Mindanao, also in December last year.
An army outpost in Compostela Valley was buried by torrents of mud and water. One soldier died and five others are missing.
Eye of the storm: Nasa image of Super Typhoon Bopha seen from space
Rescue: A soldier of the 71st Infantry Battalion, 1001st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army carries a boy along a flooded area
Tragic: Relatives grieve as they view bodies recovered from floods
Water: An elderly woman is assisted by a soldier from an area which was swamped by floods
Major-General Ariel Bernardo, an army
division commander, said two dozen people had been pulled from under
layers of mud and were being treated in local hospitals.
Video showed dozens of bloodied survivors, their faces covered with thick cake of mud, at a shelter in the province.
'In the town of Nabunturan, our farms
were totally wiped out, there was flooding in every barangay
(village),' said police Major Hector Grijaldo.
Helping out: Volunteers of the ABS-CBN Foundation prepare clothes that are part of gift and relief packs for areas in the country that have been affected
Safety: Evacuees are assisted by soldiers of the 71st Infantry Battalion, 1001st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army as they arrive at an evacuation center in Compostela Valley, southern Philippines
Coastal areas in Davao Oriental
province also bore the brunt of Bopha's fierce winds and rain, with 81
people confirmed dead in six towns, the provincial disaster agency said.
Rommil Mitra, police chief of Davao
Oriental, said 52 people were reported killed in Boston and Cateel
towns, most of them crushed by fallen tress, collapsed homes and flying
'The winds were really very strong,'
Mitra said. 'I was told the force of the wind could even lift an army
truck loaded with troops from the ground.'
Most of the affected areas remained
isolated due to power outages, lack of communications and destroyed
roads and bridges. Helicopters were ferrying troops in search and rescue
Thousands of people remained in
temporary shelter areas as local officials appealed for food, water and
warm clothes for displaced families.
Schools remained closed and dozens of domestic flights were suspended on Wednesday.
Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said body bags and other emergency supplies would be rushed to affected areas.
'The bodies are left lying on the ground in the open in New Bataan [town containing Andap village] and we don't want to risk the spread of disease,' reported the BBC.
VIDEO: Survivors rescued after Typhoon Bopha hits Philippines
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