Death toll from Phillippines typhoon could exceed 900

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MORE than 500 people were killed when a powerful typhoon tore through a farming district in the southern Phillippines earlier this week.

Yesterday rescuers continued their search for survivors, digging through mud and debris hoping to find some of an estimated 400 reported missing.

More than 310,000 people lost their homes after Typhoon Bopha struck on Tuesday, and are crowded inside evacuation centres or staying with relatives, relying on food and emergency supplies from government agencies and aid groups.

“I want to know how this tragedy happened and how to prevent a repeat,” the president, Benigno Aquino III, said during a visit to New Bataan town, the main settlement in the hardest hit area.

Officials have confirmed 252 dead in Compostela Valley, including New Bataan, and 216 in nearby Davao Oriental province. Nearly 40 more people were confirmed dead in other areas.