400 still missing as Philippine typhoon death toll reaches 350

400 still missing as Philippine typhoon death toll reaches 350

PanARMENIAN.Net - A powerful typhoon that washed away emergency shelters, a military camp and possibly entire families in the southern Philippines has killed almost 350 people with nearly 400 missing, authorities said Thursday, Dec 6, according to The Associated Press.

More bodies were retrieved from hardest-hit Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental provinces and six others impacted by the storm, the Office of Civil Defense reported.

At least 200 of the victims died in Compostela Valley alone, including 78 villagers and soldiers who perished in a flash flood that swamped two emergency shelters and a military camp.

"Entire families may have been washed away," said Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who visited New Bataan on Wednesday. The farming town of 45,000 people was a muddy wasteland of collapsed houses and coconut and banana trees felled by ferocious winds.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies issued an urgent appeal for $4.8 million to help people directly affected by the typhoon.

On Thursday, the typhoon was over the South China Sea west of Palawan province. It was blowing northwestward and could be headed to Vietnam or southern China, according to government forecasters.

Some 20 typhoons and storms lash the northern and central Philippines each year, but they rarely hit the vast southern Mindanao region where sprawling export banana plantations have been planted over the decades because it seldom experiences strong winds that could blow down the trees.

A rare storm in the south last December killed more than 1,200 people and left many more homeless.

 Top stories
The launch would be in defiance of repeated warnings by governments who suspect it is a banned test of ballistic missile technology.
Carter said he looked forward to discussing the offer of ground troops with the Saudi Defense Minister in Brussels next week.
The meeting takes place as talks have begun in Geneva to try to end the five-year Syrian civil war, which has killed at least 250,000 people.
"There is no denial that we are dealing with very significant risks," he said, during a visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Partner news