Philippines typhoon death toll tops 1000

The death toll from a typhoon that devastated the southern Philippines earlier this month has topped 1,000 as hundreds more remain missing, the government said on Sunday.

Typhoon Bopha killed 1,020 people, mostly on the southern island of Mindanao where floods and landslides caused major damage on December 4, civil defence chief Benito Ramos said.

A total of 844 people remain missing, about half of them fishermen who ventured out to sea before Bopha hit, Ramos said, adding he feared many of the missing were dead.

"The death toll will go higher. We found a lot of bodies yesterday, buried under fallen logs and debris," he told AFP.

He added the toll from Bopha, the worst natural disaster to hit the country this year, would exceed the 1,268 confirmed dead after Typhoon Washi struck the southern Philippines in December 2011.

"We prepared. We were just simply overwhelmed," said Ramos.

"They did not expect this intensity. The last time (this part of the country) got hit by a strong storm was 1912," he added.

He added that many evacuation centres were destroyed by the typhoon.

More than 27,000 people remain in such centres almost two weeks after Bopha hit as the search for the dead and missing continues, the civil defence office said.

Colonel Lyndon Paniza, spokesman of the military forces in the worst-affected region, was less optimistic of finding any survivors.

"We are on (body) retrieval mode already. We are done with search and rescue," he told AFP.

Paniza, who oversees the hardest-hit regions which suffered over 960 dead, said he expected the death toll to rise further.

"It has been 12 days already so it looks like (survival chances) are doubtful," he said.

Among the casualties were seven soldiers who were killed and four who remain missing after they were hit by flash floods while doing relief work, he said.

In the southern town of New Bataan, which suffered over 500 dead, including 235 bodies that are still unidentified, people still struggled to recover, building makeshift shelters out of scrap wood and rags.

Town Mayor Lorenzo Balbin said the toll of the dead may even be larger than the official lists because many transients, who pass through the town of work on small-scale mines and plantations, do not even register as residents.

With no one to report them missing, their deaths may go unnoticed, he said.

The situation in the town, which was largely flattened by the typhoon, had improved slightly as more relief aid was reaching the area.

Trucks from government and private relief agencies were seen entering New Bataan, handing out much-needed food to villagers still stunned by the storm's fury.

Balbin said the focus now was on finding new crops to replace those destroyed by the typhoon.

The storm has caused massive damage to infrastructure and agriculture, destroying large tracts of coconut and banana trees.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council initially estimated damage to crops and public infrastructure at 7.16 billion pesos ($174 million).

The Philippines is hit by about 20 major storms or typhoons each year that occur mainly during the rainy season between June and October. Bopha was the strongest typhoon to strike this year.

  • Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors 12 hours ago
    Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors

    Long after television grew to dominate American and British homes, newsreel producer British Pathé kept at it, documenting the news of the day until finally ceasing production of new short films in 1970 after 60 years of effort. Last week, all of British Pathé's 85,000 films were put online — including dozens of fascinating, rare and often weird car films that resemble nothing so much as a jet-age Top Gear.

  • Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete 14 hours ago
    Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete

    During this vile, never-ending winter, motorists had three options to keep their cars clean: Shell out on regular car washes; slave away in the cold, wind and snow washing it yourself, or screw it and just drive a dirty car. I, like many, chose the last option. But if only I'd been able to test Nissan's self-cleaning car, all my troubles would have washed away.

  • Popular hot yoga myths debunked 20 hours ago
    Popular hot yoga myths debunked

    What’s the hottest new workout taking the world by storm? That would be hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga. Conducted in a heated room with sweltering temperatures of about 40°C (or approximately 104° Fahrenheit) and 40 per cent humidity, … Continue reading →

  • Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern
    Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern

    A new picture of Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who is now 90 years old, has drawn concern from people on Singapore's internet space.

  • Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls
    Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls

    After being photographed at work in Jurong pooling used oil near coffee shops, 50-year-old Valerie Sim has been struggling to keep her family afloat. Web portals STOMP and The Real Singapore published pictures of her in February, triggering a witch hunt for others like her and comments from readers like “Who knows if they’ll use it as cooking oil?” Some readers also said they filed police reports against her and other people they believed were doing the same thing she was.

  • I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.
    I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.

    I have committed a taboo – I have tendered my resignation without securing the next job. The reactions to the announcement were varied but they all pretty much hint at a deep sense of disapproval. “Why did you do that?” It was as if I had renounced my faith. “What are you going to do from now on?” Almost as though a misfortune had incapacitated me. “What does your family have to say about it?” As if I had offered to cook for the next family dinner. I was, and still am, certain of my reasons and motivations for the resignation. However the response I received got me thinking about why people are so concerned about the gaps in their careers. The developed world evolved from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy to the service age, then to the knowledge economy in the late 1990s and 2000s marked by breakthroughs in technological innovations and competition for innovation with new products and processes that develop from the research community. According to The Work Foundation, the knowledge economy is driven by the demand for higher value added goods and services created by more sophisticated, more discerning, and better educated consumers and ... The post I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind. appeared first on Vulcan Post.