Typhoon in Philippines killed hundreds

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By Sarah Barchus

The death toll of a major out-of-season typhoon in the southern Philippines reached more than 270 Wednesday, officials said, the New York Times reported.

Typhoon Bopha, called Pablo in the Philippines, first hit the island of Mindanao on Tuesday, the most powerful typhoon to hit it in decades with winds of 175 kph, the Central News Network reported.

The storm raised the highest death toll on the region of Davao by causing violent floods that destroyed houses and carried away dozens of people, CNN reported.

Officials mandated early evacuation of communities in the typhoons path, the New York Times reported. However, the storm frustrated some of the authorities's efforts to get people to safety, CNN reported.

"In one case in Davao Oriental, the evacuation centers -- public buildings and schools -- were also victims of flash flooding," Camilo Gudmalin, assistant secretary at the Department of Social Welfare and Development, said. "And as a result, some people who were in an evacuation center died."

Rescue efforts are still underway, but roads blocked by landslides are restricting the rescuers's access, CNN reported.

More than 213,000 people were affected by the typhoon and about 170,000 people are in evacuation centers, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council's report, CNN reported.

The typhoon receded Wednesday, moving away from the outlying western island of Palawan, but its heavy rains are still affecting a large portion of the Islands, CNN reported.

Bopha brought back painful memories of the Severe Tropical Storm Washi, known in the Philippines as Sendong, which hit the Islands at the same time last year. At one point on Monday, Bopha's winds reached 240 kph in the open ocean--twice the speed of Sengong, CNN reported.

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This page contains a single entry by barch009 published on December 5, 2012 7:23 AM.

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