Typhoon death toll soars to 620 in Philippines

2012-12-09 13:22:21 GMT2012-12-09 21:22:21(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

The official death toll from typhoon Bopha (local name Pablo) in the Philippines has already reached 620, while the number of missing also rose to 817, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Sunday.

NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos said they are not giving up hopes to recover more survivors as the search, rescue, and retrieval operations continue.

Ramos said they remain confident that they would recover survivors. "We hope to find more survivors, especially in isolated areas which are yet to be reached by our rescuers," he said.

Of the 817 missing, Ramos said over 500 were from Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental which ravaged by flashfloods and strong winds.

As of 5 p.m. Sunday, the number of affected population exceeded 1 million families or 5.4 million persons. Of the number, 131,000 people are still housed in 172 evacuation centers.

The initial cost of damage to agriculture, infrastructure and property is now at 6.4 billion pesos (159 million U.S. dollars), Ramos said.

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