Powerful typhoon kills at least 74 in Philippines

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 4, 2012 at 7:10 pm •  Published: December 4, 2012
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Some towns in the province were so battered that no roofs remained on buildings, Malanyaon said.

The other deaths included three children who were buried by a wall of mud and boulders that plunged down a mountain in Marapat village, also in Compostela Valley. Their bodies were wrapped in blankets by their grieving relatives and placed on a stage in a basketball court.

"The only thing we could do was to save ourselves. It was too late for us to rescue them," said Valentin Pabilana, who survived the landslide.

In Davao Oriental, a poor agricultural and gold-mining province about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) southeast of Manila, an elderly woman was killed when her house was struck by a falling tree, said Benito Ramos, who heads the government's disaster-response agency.

The other victims either drowned or were hit by trees, he said, adding that the death toll was expected to rise.

Bopha was the 16th tropical storm to hit the nation this year, and forecasters say one more could do so this year.

A rare storm in the southern Philippines last December killed more than 1,200 people and left many more homeless and traumatized, including in Cagayan de Oro city, where church bells pealed relentlessly on Tuesday to warn residents to scramble to safety as a major river started to swell.

In Compostela Valley, authorities halted mining operations and ordered villagers to evacuate to prevent a repeat of deadly losses from landslides and the collapse of mine tunnels in previous storms.

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Associated Press writer Teresa Cerojano contributed to this report.