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Typhoon Bopha threatens to hit Philippines again


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.


Ted Aljibe

Typhoon Bopha is circling back to hit the Philippines for a second time on Sunday, as the deadly storm's death toll climbed higher.

The typhoon initially hit the country Tuesday, pummeling it with stronger winds than Hurricane Sandy, and has changed course back towards the northern part of the Philippines after having made its way out to the South China Sea, according to Reuters. Its winds have been reduced to 35 mph.

The weather bureau has issued storm alerts for the main island of Luzon's northern provinces, even as the south continues to reel from the disaster, the Washington Post reported. It is also possible the capital of Manila will be in the weakened storm's path. 

At least 827 people remain missing, the Wall Street Journal reported, and the death toll has been cited as high as 640 by BBC News, while other sources have reported that it is closer to 540. 

Civil Defense chief Benito Ramos said that the missing persons number has more than doubled since Friday, as around 300 fishermen were added to the list, according to BBC.

In the hard-hit province of Mindanao, many areas where roads were washed out and bridges destroyed remained inaccessible on Sunday, according to Voice of America

The storm's damage to the Philippines' agricultural sector is estimated at 8.5 billion pesos, or $208 million, and infrastructure damage at 200 million pesos, or around $4.8 billion, though that figure may rise even higher, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

More from GlobalPost: Typhoon Bopha death toll climbs over 500, search continues (PHOTOS)