6 killed, 40,000 evacuated as typhoon Bopha hits southern Philippines

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Six people have died and more than 40,000 were forced to evacuate to shelters as the powerful Typhoon Bopha continues to batter the southern Philippines. Bopha is the strongest typhoon to hit the country in a year.

­At least five people are reported missing on the central island of Leyte and off the coast of the southern Mindanao Island.

Three people were hit by falling trees, while another person suffered a heart attack as the typhoon struck Mindanao, civil defense chief Benito Ramos told AFP. All four are in unknown condition, Ramos said. One other person was reported missing on the central island of Leyte.

Philippines President Benigno Aquino warned residents in the areas affected by the typhoon to take the disaster seriously: “It could be the strongest to hit the country this year. But we can minimize the damage and loss of lives if we help each other.”

Some 80 domestic flights were grounded and more than 3,000 ferry passengers were stranded after the country’s coast guard ordered vessels to stay in port, AFP quoted the civil defense office as saying.

i4d91d589675777604be3509fa78fe604 1 6 killed, 40,000 evacuated as typhoon Bopha hits southern Philippines
Six people have died and more than 40,000 were forced to evacuate to shelters as the powerful Typhoon Bopha continues to batter the southern Philippines (AP screenshot)
i28bd58e54534da3c5aae1c1f25ca19ea 2 6 killed, 40,000 evacuated as typhoon Bopha hits southern Philippines
Bopha is the strongest typhoon to hit the country in a year (AP screenshot)

­Philippines police forcibly evacuated people from low-lying areas after they refused to join an estimated 25,000 others who had sought refuge at government shelters, Cagayan de Oro city Mayor Vicente Emano said in an interview with ABS-CBN television

Forecasters reported that the storm, moving northwest, is slightly weakened at the moment. Bopha is expected to reach the country’s southern island of Negros, bringing heavy rains.

A similar disaster hit the same region in 2011, killing 1,500 and affecting around 10 percent of Philippines residents.

The country is hit by about 20 typhoons a year, with another storm expected around Christmas.

i49b5fbbe67ac89e14ea88f75abc19fc5 3 6 killed, 40,000 evacuated as typhoon Bopha hits southern Philippines
Philippines President Benigno Aquino warned residents in the areas affected by the typhoon to take the disaster seriously (AP screenshot)
residents transport evacuation officials 6 killed, 40,000 evacuated as typhoon Bopha hits southern Philippines
Residents wait for a truck to transport them into an evacuation center as local officials ordered enforced evacuation ahead of Typhoon Bopha in Cagayan de Oro City, southern Philippines December 3, 2012 (Reuters / Stringer Philippines)
residents temporary evacuation officials 6 killed, 40,000 evacuated as typhoon Bopha hits southern Philippines
Residents take temporary shelter at an evacuation center as local officials ordered enforced evacuation ahead of Typhoon Bopha in Cagayan de Oro City, southern Philippines December 3, 2012 (Reuters / Stringer Philippines)

 

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6 killed, 40,000 evacuated as typhoon Bopha hits southern Philippines

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