Hundreds of fishermen missing in Philippine storm

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 9, 2012 at 6:40 pm •  Published: December 9, 2012
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"It was like a double blow for me — this disaster and this defeat," said Olivar, whose house was destroyed in the storm. "We were all crestfallen. Everyone fell silent, stunned. It was like we saw a tsunami."

Nearly 400,000 people, mostly from Compostela Valley and nearby Davao Oriental province, have lost their homes and are crowded inside evacuation centers or staying with relatives.

President Benigno Aquino III has declared a national calamity, which allows for price controls on basic commodities in typhoon-affected areas and the quick release of emergency funds.

Officials said Sunday that 316 people were killed in Compostela Valley, including 165 in New Bataan, and 301 in Davao Oriental. More than 45 people were killed elsewhere. Nearly 900 are missing, including the fishermen and 440 from New Bataan alone.

Davao Oriental authorities imposed a curfew there and ordered police to guard stores and shops to prevent looting.

The typhoon destroyed about 18 percent of the banana plantations in Mindanao, causing losses estimated at 12 billion pesos ($300 million), according to Stephen Antig, executive director of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association.

The Philippines is the world's third-largest banana producer and exporter, supplying international brands such as Dole, Chiquita and Del Monte.

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Associated Press writers Oliver Teves and Hrvoje Hranjski in Manila contributed to this report.


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