x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Typhoon Bopha kills more than 200 in Philippines

The death toll from a powerful typhoon that sparked flash floods and landslides in the Philippines' south has risen to more than 200 people.

A woman cries after identifying a relative who was one of the flash flood victims after Typhoon Bopha. Reuters / Karlos Manlupig
A woman cries after identifying a relative who was one of the flash flood victims after Typhoon Bopha. Reuters / Karlos Manlupig

MANILA // The death toll from a powerful typhoon that sparked flash floods and landslides in the Philippines' south has risen to more than 200 people.

At least 151 people died in the worst-hit province of Compostela Valley, a government spokeswoman, Fe Maestre, said today.

That included 66 villagers and soldiers who perished in a flash flood that swamped two emergency storm shelters and a military camp as Typhoon Bopha lashed New Bataan town the day before.

An unspecified number of villagers remained missing in New Bataan.

Army Major General Ariel Bernardo said 51 people died and 98 others are missing in nearby Davao Oriental province, mostly because of flooding and toppled trees.

Disaster-response agencies reported seven other typhoon-related deaths elsewhere.

Torrential floods from a powerful typhoon engulfed emergency shelters and an army truck carrying soldiers and villagers who were fleeing their homes in the southern Philippines, raising the death toll from the storm to at least 74.

Some 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines annually, but they more commonly hit the northern and central provinces of the archipelago. The president, Benigno Aquino, had appealed on national television for people to take storm warnings seriously.

About 60,000 people were staying in emergency shelters and more than 100 domestic flights were canceled.

Typhoon Bopha had winds of 175kph and gusts of up to 210kph when it made landfall around Davao Oriental province at dawn on Tuesday. It knocked out power in two entire provinces, and its ferocious winds ripped roofs from homes and toppled trees.

Winds weakened to 140kph with gusts up to 170kph by evening. It had moved out to sea again early today.