Philippines: Typhoon Kills More than 700 People

Manila, Dec 11 (Prensa Latina) Typhoon Bopha, the strongest to hit the Philippines this year, has left 890 people missing, killed nearly 714, mainly fishermen, while nearly 1,900 people were injured, according to government sources.

Bopha caused floods and landslides in Mindanao on December 4 and devastated communities, stated the Civil Defense Office according to channelnewsasia.com.

Around 115,000 houses were destroyed and more than 116,000 inhabitants remain in government shelters, where they will stay for months until their new houses are built.

Authorities noted that some of those still missing could be among the 257 corpses recovered by rescue workers, but that remain unidentified and have still not been claimed by relatives.

Typhoon Bapho affected nearly 5.4 million people in 30 provinces, according to the National Council for Prevention and Response to Disasters.

President Benigno Aquino declared a national state of emergency on Saturday in order to speed up the use of official funds and granting of loans with preferential interest rates, as well as control food prices in the affected areas.

The United Nations launched a global campaign to raise $65 million USD to aid the victims of the typhoon, the deadliest natural disaster to affect the Philippines since Tropical Storm Washi, which killed 1,200 people in the northern coast of Mindanao last year.