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At Least 74 Killed as Powerful Typhoon Strikes Philippines

The storm toppled trees, triggered landslides and sent flash floods surging
Updated Tuesday, Dec. 4, 8:22 p.m. ET

Residents repair their damaged homes after Typhoon Bopha made landfall in the Philippines on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Karlos Manlupig)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - 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.

At least 43 of the victims drowned in one village. Rain accumulated atop a mountain and flooded down on Andap village in New Bataan town in hard-hit Compostela Valley province, Gov. Arturo Uy said. A school and village hall where evacuees were staying was swamped by the flash flood and an army truck carrying soldiers and villagers was washed away, according to Uy and army officials.

"They thought that they were already secure in a safe area, but they didn't know the torrents of water would go their way," Uy told DZBB radio Tuesday.

He said the town's death toll would rise because several uncounted bodies could not immediately be retrieved from floodwaters strewn with huge logs and debris.

Some 20 typhoons and storms lash the Philippines annually, but they more commonly hit the northern and central provinces of the archipelago. President Benigno Aquino III 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 175 kilometers per hour (109 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 210 kph (130 mph) when it made landfall around Davao Oriental province at dawn Tuesday. It knocked out power in two entire provinces, and its ferocious winds ripped roofs from homes and toppled trees.

Winds weakened to 140 kph (87 mph) with gusts up to 170 kph (106 mph) by evening. It had moved out to sea again by Wednesday morning.

Twenty-three people drowned or were pinned by fallen trees or collapsed houses in Davao Oriental province's coastal town of Cateel, which had the most deaths after New Bataan, Davao Oriental Gov. Corazon Malanyaon told the ABS-CBN TV network, citing police reports.

Some towns in the province were so battered that no roofs remained on buildings, Malanyaon said.

The other deaths included three children who were buried by a wall of mud and boulders that plunged down a mountain in Marapat village, also in Compostela Valley. Their bodies were wrapped in blankets by their grieving relatives and placed on a stage in a basketball court.

"The only thing we could do was to save ourselves. It was too late for us to rescue them," said Valentin Pabilana, who survived the landslide.

In Davao Oriental, a poor agricultural and gold-mining province about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) southeast of Manila, an elderly woman was killed when her house was struck by a falling tree, said Benito Ramos, who heads the government's disaster-response agency.

The other victims either drowned or were hit by trees, he said, adding that the death toll was expected to rise.

Bopha was the 16th tropical storm to hit the nation this year, and forecasters say one more could do so this year.

A rare storm in the southern Philippines last December killed more than 1,200 people and left many more homeless and traumatized, including in Cagayan de Oro city, where church bells pealed relentlessly on Tuesday to warn residents to scramble to safety as a major river started to swell.

In Compostela Valley, authorities halted mining operations and ordered villagers to evacuate to prevent a repeat of deadly losses from landslides and the collapse of mine tunnels in previous storms.

ALSO ON SKYE: Photos: Typhoon Bopha Slams into Philippines

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Yoyoy, Dad, Ely

To orete718, the worst you can possibly do is to blame certain religious denomination and Catholic church for the calamity, doing that, is kiddish and misdirected cultish mentality that made the Philippines what it is today. Just shut up and send goods, money, or your freakin' self to help those people there, instead of puking out your self professed righteousness using religion for your blessed ego-tripping. Natural phenomena has no religion, its earth's system, dude..

December 04 2012 at 8:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
star0x1961

everywhere there is bad calamity..this is a nature..hope those affected they will get recovered soon and they will get help from others. God bless you all.

December 04 2012 at 8:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jose

I don't think this is the right time to blame politicians for their stupid actions but instead let us join hands and help our brothers, sisters, and children alike that has affected by this natural disaster be generous enough so these people will not be left out in cold and thank you very much for everyone who has the heart to share their hard earned money to help them.

December 04 2012 at 8:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
oreste718

There is nothing surprising about this. Many in the world not just in the Philippines worship idols, man made images. Man made traditions. Man made laws and religion and so on so instead of having a true relationship with God through Christ Jesus, they are deceived and therefore stray away from God and his blessings and protection. Many put their trust in Mary, the saints, priests, fortune tellers more than God and then make God their last option. You cannot serve the One who created everything and make him equals with Mary or everyone else. You can't pray to Mary the pray to God too. It's no wonder these people have no revelation of who God is because their hearts are divided and God knows where you're heart is. It's Christmas but instead of celebrating the true meaning of Christmas or Easter, what do people do. They focus on santa, the rain deers, the gifts, the parties, the man made trees and man made lights. Tradition will kill us all because tradition will not bring us closer to God, only a real relationship with Jesus Christ. The world redefined the real meaning of Christmas and Easter because its real meaning is a treat to God's enemy. When you focus on Mary, the saints, santa, famous people, man made things like crucifix, the pope and so on, instead of just God alone then you have offended the One and Only God. There is consequence in doing so. There are so many religious people in the Philippines but there is no progress, no peace, no protection, no jobs, no direction, no prosperity and so on. You can't blame politicians for that because if you are blessed and have the favor of God, I don't care who or what may come against you because God will always cause those who are faithful to him to prosper and win. Isaiah 49:23 So you know that I am the Lord;
whoever hopes in me will never be disappointed. So who do you give your heart to and where do you place all your hopes? The key word in that verse is " in ME " God wants 100 percent of your heart, love and trust. Anything less is an insult. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'

December 04 2012 at 7:57 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
HELLO MARK

My prayers are out for all those now suffering in the Philippines for the Typhoon and starving because of the corrupt government there who do not help there people

December 04 2012 at 7:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
HELLO MARK

All prayers are out for those who are suffering now in the Philippines.

December 04 2012 at 7:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
artist816

I hope my wifes family there is safe.

December 04 2012 at 7:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
venancio805

STOP ALL OF YOU WE FILIPINOS AT LEAST ARE PEACE LOVING HARDWORKING PAY OUR TAXES HERE IN AMERICA AND ARE ONE OF THE MOST PRODUCTIVE COMPARING TO OTHER IMMIGRANTS.

December 04 2012 at 7:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to venancio805's comment
troybrad

Many are here illegally too!

January 02 2013 at 8:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
troybrad

Such a corrupt island nation. I hope the rich there help the poor instead of looking out for themselves. Those who are originally from that nation who are now here in the US (either legally or illegally) should help too.

December 04 2012 at 6:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to troybrad's comment
anhpearson8@aol.

Am prraying for all of you...

December 04 2012 at 6:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
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