Death toll passes 300 in wake of Philippine storm
More than 300 people have died and 170,000 people have been displaced in the wake of Typhoon Bopha, which hit the Philippines on Tuesday.
The devastation it has caused is now becoming apparent, with the death toll already rising past 325. At least 200 people died in the southern area of Compostela Valley alone, including 78 killed by a flash flood which washed away emergency shelters and a military camp.
Speaking yesterday from New Bataan – a farming town badly affected by the floods – the interior secretary Max Rosas explained how “entire families have been washed away”.
Wednesday’s sun provided some light relief for the survivors, however, heavy rain again last night caused panic and evacuation centres were struggling as they have lost their roofs.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has issued an urgent appeal for $4.8 million to help the survivors of Bopha.
The US has also issued a statement of support for the Philippines and Palau which was also hit by the storm earlier this week: “Our embassies in Manila and Koror have offered immediate disaster relief assistance, and we are working closely with authorities in both countries to offer additional assistance as needed,” said deputy state department spokesman Mark Toner.
Typhoon Bopha comes only a year after Typhoon Washi struck Northern Mindanao, which killed 1,300 people and swamped communities.
Although there is temporary relief being supplied, long-term problems, such as 70% of all crops in Compostela province being washed away, will affect the livelihood of survivors for years after.
The typhoon is now making its way past the Philippines and into South China.