Typhoon Bopha Lashes Philippines
December 8, 2012
By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill
The death toll continues to climb as the strongest cyclone to hit the Philippines in decades uproots trees and brings flooding downpours and mudslides to the storm-ravaged country.
Bopha is still a large and dangerous storm with maximum sustained winds of 97 mph with gusts to 120 mph as it churns east-northeast at 9 mph. The typhoon is located about 245 miles northwest of Manila.
Media reports indicate at least 400 people have died with at least 400 injured and 532 missing. The worst hit area was Compostela Valley region on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao where homes are apparently totally destroyed.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino declared a state of national calamity Friday after visiting the disaster areas.
Evacuation shelters have been set up and foreign government aid has been sent to help the hundreds of thousands of people in need of assistance.
The typhoon has also wreaked havoc on the Philippines economy. The country is the world`s third-largest banana producer and has seen more than 34,000 acres of banana crop destroyed. Total economic losses are estimated to be around $300 million so far and counting.
Bopha is expected to remain off the northwest Philippine coast this weekend before sliding away and charging through the South China Sea early next week.
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Story image: A resident covers his nose as he walks past typhoon Bopha's victims which are left unattended at New Bataan township, Compostela Valley in southern Philippines Saturday Dec. 8, 2012. (Bullit Marquez, AP)
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