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Philippines typhoon death toll rises to 420 – officials

Published time: December 04, 2012 09:15
Edited time: December 07, 2012 06:05

Residents saw an uprooted tree to clear the road after Typhoon Bopha hit Tagum City, southern Philippines December 4, 2012 (Reutrers / Stringer Philippines)

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Typhoon Bopha recently swept across the southern Philippines, leaving a death toll of around 420, officials reported. More than 56,000 people were displaced by the devastating storm, and more are feared dead as rescuers continue to retrieve bodies.

At least 200 of the victims died in Compostela Valley alone­, while an estimated 43 villagers and soldiers have drowned in the town of New Bataan, while in nearby Davao Oriental province, 51 people were swept away by floods.

At least three children were buried by a wall of mud and boulders that plunged down a mountain in Marapat village as six more villagers have drowned in floods in Montevista town, AP reports.

Philippines President Benigno Aquino warned residents in the areas affected by the typhoon to take the disaster seriously: "It could be the strongest to hit the country this year. But we can minimize the damage and loss of lives if we help each other."

Some 80 domestic flights were grounded and more than 3,000 ferry passengers were stranded after the country’s coast guard ordered vessels to stay in port, AFP quoted the civil defense office as saying.

Residents brave heavy rains next to a tilted electric post after Typhoon Bophal hit the city of Tagum, Davao del Norter province, in southern island of Mindanao on December 4, 2012 (AFP Photo)
Residents brave heavy rains next to a tilted electric post after Typhoon Bophal hit the city of Tagum, Davao del Norter province, in southern island of Mindanao on December 4, 2012 (AFP Photo)
Residents watch as a river rises near their homes due to heavy rains brought about by Typhoon Bophal in Cagayan de Oro City, southern island of Mindanao on December 4, 2012 (AFP Photo)
Residents watch as a river rises near their homes due to heavy rains brought about by Typhoon Bophal in Cagayan de Oro City, southern island of Mindanao on December 4, 2012 (AFP Photo)

­Philippines police forcibly evacuated people from low-lying areas after they refused to join an estimated 25,000 others who had sought refuge at government shelters, Cagayan de Oro city Mayor Vicente Emano said in an interview with ABS-CBN television

Forecasters reported that the storm, moving northwest, is slightly weakened at the moment. Bopha is expected to reach the country’s southern island of Negros, bringing heavy rains.

A similar disaster hit the same region in 2011, killing 1,500 and affecting around 10 percent of Philippines residents.

The country is hit by about 20 typhoons a year, with another storm expected around Christmas.

This latest typhoon comes almost a year after a storm killed more than 1,200 Mindanao residents.

Relatives try to identify bodies in the aftermath of Typhoon Bopha in New Bataan, Compostela Valley in the southern Philippines on December 5, 2012. (AFP Photo/Karlos Manlupig)
Relatives try to identify bodies in the aftermath of Typhoon Bopha in New Bataan, Compostela Valley in the southern Philippines on December 5, 2012. (AFP Photo/Karlos Manlupig)
Children walk in front of their flooded home in the aftermath of Typhoon Bopha in New Bataan, Compostela Valley in the southern Philippines on December 5, 2012. (AFP Photo/Karlos Manlupig)
Children walk in front of their flooded home in the aftermath of Typhoon Bopha in New Bataan, Compostela Valley in the southern Philippines on December 5, 2012. (AFP Photo/Karlos Manlupig)
Residents carry the body of victim after flash floods brought by Typhoon Bopha swept New Bataan town in Compostela Valley in southern Philippines December 5, 2012. (Reuters/Erik De Castro)
Residents carry the body of victim after flash floods brought by Typhoon Bopha swept New Bataan town in Compostela Valley in southern Philippines December 5, 2012. (Reuters/Erik De Castro)
 Residents gather their belongings after their house was destroyed by strong winds brought about by Typhoon Bophal in Cagayan de Oro City, southern island of Mindanao on December 4, 2012 (AFP Photo)
Residents gather their belongings after their house was destroyed by strong winds brought about by Typhoon Bophal in Cagayan de Oro City, southern island of Mindanao on December 4, 2012 (AFP Photo)
Residents wait for a truck to transport them into an evacuation center as local officials ordered enforced evacuation ahead of Typhoon Bopha in Cagayan de Oro City, southern Philippines December 3, 2012 (Reuters / Stringer Philippines)
Residents wait for a truck to transport them into an evacuation center as local officials ordered enforced evacuation ahead of Typhoon Bopha in Cagayan de Oro City, southern Philippines December 3, 2012 (Reuters / Stringer Philippines)
Residents take temporary shelter at an evacuation center as local officials ordered enforced evacuation ahead of Typhoon Bopha in Cagayan de Oro City, southern Philippines December 3, 2012 (Reuters / Stringer Philippines)
Residents take temporary shelter at an evacuation center as local officials ordered enforced evacuation ahead of Typhoon Bopha in Cagayan de Oro City, southern Philippines December 3, 2012 (Reuters / Stringer Philippines)
Residents retrieve their belongings after their house was destroyed by a fallen tree caused by Typhoon Bopha in Cagayan de Oro City, southern Philippines December 4, 2012. (Reuters)
Residents retrieve their belongings after their house was destroyed by a fallen tree caused by Typhoon Bopha in Cagayan de Oro City, southern Philippines December 4, 2012. (Reuters)
 A man looks at his damaged house destroyed by strong winds brought about by Typhoon Bopha in Butuan City, Agusan del Sur, in southern island of Mindanao on December 4, 2012. (AFP Photo/Erwin Mascarinas)
A man looks at his damaged house destroyed by strong winds brought about by Typhoon Bopha in Butuan City, Agusan del Sur, in southern island of Mindanao on December 4, 2012. (AFP Photo/Erwin Mascarinas)

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