Typhoon Pablo survivors appeal for aid
MANILA, Philippines - Rescue workers continued scouring remote areas of the southern Philippines for survivors of Typhoon Pablo (international name Bopha) on Friday, as residents in some of the worst hit areas appealed to the government for aid.
Typhoon Bopha, the nation's strongest storm this year swept across the southern Philippines on Wednesday (December 5), killing 456 people and leaving even more missing, according to the disaster agency.
Bopha cut a swathe of destruction in the valley levelling entire plantations and destroying buildings and homes.
Villagers began the arduous task of clearing up the fallen trees and debris from collapsed buildings.
President Benigno Aquino is set to declare a state of national calamity after he travelled to devastated provinces, handing out food rations and money to displaced families.
More than 400 people are still unaccounted for in Compostela Valley alone, where farming and mining towns have been flooded and many residents have been buried in mudslides.
Across the southern and western regions of the island nation, more than 306,000 people are seeking shelter at evacuation centres.
Aid is slowly making its way to the survivors but not fast enough for many residents who have lost their homes.
"I'm expecting some help, even just a little financial assistance from our government, so we can rebuild our house," said one villager, Jojo Lipasan.
More than 10,000 houses were totally destroyed by the typhoon across over a dozen provinces.
The agriculture ministry said farmers and fisherman had lost more than 80 million U.S. dollars in produce.
Australia, Canada and the U.S. have made relief donations.
The U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has sent condolences and offers of assistance to the victims of Typhoon Bopha.
About 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year, often causing death and destruction.
Almost exactly a year ago, Typhoon Washi killed 1,500 people in Mindanao, but most storms make landfall further north.