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Monday, December 17, 2012

‘Pablo’ Death Toll Rises To 1,020


MANILA, Philippines --- The death toll from Tropical Cyclone Pablo (international name: Bopha) breached the 1,000 markly two weeks after the cyclone devastated parts of Mindanao and the Visayas.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRMMC) Executive Director Benito Ramos said the death toll will go even higher as search and retrieval operations yield more bodies buried under fallen logs and debris. 

The typhoon, which made a landfall last December 4, devastated Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental where it caused flash floods and landslides. 

As of Sunday morning, the NDRRMC reported that the death toll has reached 1,020. 

The number missing, on the other hand, went up by three from Saturday’s figure of 841. Ramos said almost half of the missing were fishermen from General Santos City. 

The US military earlier said two US Navy P-3C Orion, an anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft, have been directed to assist Philippine authorities in the search for 311 fishermen who were among the 932 declared missing. 

According to a report by Lt. Andrew Orchard, from the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force Seventh Fleet Public Affairs, “aircrews assigned to Commander Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Seventh Fleet from Patrol Squadron (VP) 45 have been directed to support US military assistance to ongoing Philippine-led disaster relief operations.” 

“The “Pelicans” of VP-45 will reposition two P-3C Orion aircraft to the southern Philippines to assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) search and rescue (SAR) operations which are attempting to locate missing fishermen.” Meanwhile, the number of affected population likewise rose to 701,224 families or 6,203,826 people of which 6,937 families or 27,813 people are still staying in 60 evacuation centers. 

The Department of Social Welfare and Development ( DSWD) also reported that bunkhouses are currently being built in the hardest hit areas of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley for the temporary shelter of families of were renders homeless by the typhoon. 

Latest data from the NDRRMC showed 63,040 houses were totally destroyed while 95,544 were damaged during the onslaught of “Pablo”. The NDRRMC also reported an increase on the estimated cost of damage caused by Pablo, which is now pegged at P24,160,920,528.05 with P16,350,529,805.05 in agriculture; P7,761,431,310 in infrastructure; and P48,959,413 in private properties.


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