Daily Israel Report
Show More

OpEds


Death Toll Rising in Philippine Typhoon Bopha

More than 280 are dead in a powerful typhoon that struck the Philippines on Tuesday. Hundreds more are hurt, tens of thousands are homeless.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 12/5/2012, 7:16 PM

Rescuers carry typhoon victim
Rescuers carry typhoon victim
Reuters

More than 280 are dead in a powerful typhoon that struck the Philippines on Tuesday. Hundreds more are hurt and homeless.More than 280 people are dead and hundreds more are missing as rescue teams struggle to reach remote areas after powerful Typhoon Bopha battered the Philippines on Tuesday.

No Israelis have been reported to be among the dead, injured or missing, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor. “It's not a very popular tourism destination,” he told Arutz Sheva on Wednesday afternoon. “Usually people go there for business purposes, and when they do their destination is usually the capital or some other large industrial city.”

Kashrut supervisors who are hired to check the kosher status of foods that are manufactured abroad do, however, frequent a variety of areas in many countries in southeast Asia and the southern Pacific. None have been reported missing. 

Government authorities backed by President Benigno Aquino III tried desperately to force residents to leave high-risk areas as the typhoon approached, but with little success. Although northern and central Philippines sees some 20 typhoons and tropical storms each year, it is rare that such natural disasters strike the southern Mindanao region.

The typhoon transformed the island nation into a whirl of upended trees, power and communications poles, landslides, floods and flattened structures, driving tens of thousands from their homes.

Provincial officials in worst-hit Compostela Valley, where at least 151 were killed, said it was likely that more dead would be found as rescue teams reach the more isolated areas.

The first coastal province struck by the typhoon as it swept ashore from the Pacific Ocean, Davao Oriental, was completely flattened, with nearly every roof in every town ripped off. At least 115 people were killed, mostly in three towns in the province, according to provincial officer Freddie Bendulo, who spoke with TIME Magazine.

Only 80 people survived in the town of New Bataan, and those with injuries, according to Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, quoted by the ABS-CBN television network.  Of the 319 people reported missing in the town, not one was found after an entire day of searching by soldiers and volunteers. “Entire families may have been washed away.”