Politics

Typhoon Bopha death toll climbs over 500, search continues (PHOTOS)

bopha_1.jpg

Rescue workers carry dead bodies, victims of flash floods at the height Typhoon Bopha and retrieved from amongst the debris of logs in New Bataan, Compostela Valley province on December 7, 2012. President Benigno Aquino vowed action on the Philippines' typhoon disasters December 7 as bruised and grieving survivors tried to recover from the latest that left nearly 500 people dead.

Credit:

Ted Aljibe

The death toll of Typhoon Bopha is now over 500, as over 400 people remain missing. 

The Typhoon struck the southern Philippines Tuesday, and over 310,000 people have been rendered homeless, relying on food and emergency supplies from government agencies and aid organizations, the Associated Press reported.

In the town of New Bataan, located in one of the hardest-hit regions, several refugee centers had flooded during the storm, according to the New York Times

"We are going to look at what really happened. There are allegations of illegal mining, there are allegations of the force of nature," said Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who traveled with President Benigno Aquino III to New Bataan. "We will find out why there are homes in these geohazard locations."

As Philippines officials point to climate change, deforestation from illegal logging, and small-scale mining as some of the culprits, the country's residents struggle to recover. 

  • bopha_1.jpg

    Rescue workers carry dead bodies, victims of flash floods at the height Typhoon Bopha and retrieved from amongst the debris of logs in New Bataan, Compostela Valley province on December 7, 2012. President Benigno Aquino vowed action on the Philippines' typhoon disasters December 7 as bruised and grieving survivors tried to recover from the latest that left nearly 500 people dead.

    Credit:

    Ted Aljibe

  • bopha_2.jpg

    Residents stand amongst logs swept away by flash floods at the height Typhoon Bopha as they search for missing relatives in New Bataan, Compostela Valley province on December 7, 2012.

    Credit:

    Ted Aljibe

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    Philippine Coast Guard personnel carry relief goods for victims of Typhoon Bopha in New Bataan, Compostela Valley in the southern Philippines, on board a ship in Manila.

    Credit:

    Jay Directo

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    A rescue worker carries an elderly resident across a surging river in New Bataan, Compostela Valley province.

    Credit:

    Ted Aljibe

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    A resident cuts branches of a toppled tree which fell onto his house at the height of Typhoon Bopha in Monte Vista town, Compostela Valley province on December 6, 2012, two days after Typhoon Bopha hit the province. The storm has left nearly 200,000 people homeless.

    Credit:

    Ted Aljibe

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    Residents looks at the list of missing persons posted near the municipal hall of New Bataan town, Compostela Valley province on December 6, 2012, two days after Typhoon Bopha hit the province.

    Credit:

    Ted Aljibe

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    Residents queue up to receive relief goods from the government in the town of New Bataan.

    Credit:

    Ted Aljibe

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    A boys stands inside their makeshift shelter in Monte Vista town, Compostela Valley.

    Credit:

    Ted Aljibe

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    Workers pack grocery items inside their damaged store in Monte Vista town, Compostela.

    Credit:

    Ted Aljibe

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    Lenlen Medrano and her child (on stretcher), survivors of Typhoon Bopha, prepare to be transported across a surging river on a zip line in the town of New Bataan, compostela province.

    Credit:

    Ted Aljibe

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    A dog stands on top of an uprooted coconut tree in the village of Andap, New Bataan town.

    Credit:

    Ted Aljibe

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    A resident carries a religious statue along a muddy road in the town of New Bataan, compostela province.

    Credit:

    Ted Aljibe

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    Children retrieve a bicycle amongst boulders near their destroyed house in the town of New Bataan, compostela province on December 6, 2012.

    Credit:

    Ted Aljibe