15:04 06 December 2012
It’s going to be a sad Christmas for hundreds of families in the Philippines, particularly on the southern part of the country as hundreds of people died during the powerful typhoon Bopha. Several hundreds are also reported missing, including soldiers who were sent to help with evacuations.
Based on reports, The Telegraph states that 400 have lost their lives because of the typhoon, whereas Sky News claimed the death toll was reaching 500 as of early Thursday morning. The Guardian said in one report that 400 people were believed to be missing.
At time of writing, there are at least 156 deaths in Compostela Valley province, which was said to be the hardest hit area. Davao Oriental on the other hand, reported 50 deaths.
Compostela Valley Provincial Governor Arturo Uy told Reuters news agency: “The waters came so suddenly and unexpectedly, and the winds were so fierce - that compounded the loss of lives and livelihood.”
The governor added that the cost of damage to infrastructure and agriculture in Compostela Valley province is approximately $98million, as 70 to 80per cent of plantations, mostly bananas for exports, were destroyed.
Meanwhile, Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon said that dozens of affected towns are currently impassable due to collapsed bridges and fallen trees.
This makes search rescues and operations more difficult as it creates isolated areas.
New Bataan town, another area hit by the typhoon, reports at least 50 people missing at time of writing. On a roadside, dozens of mud-stained bodies lay surrounded by villagers. The bodies were covered by cloth and banana leaves.
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