Typhoon Recovery

The destruction from Typhoon Bopha in portions of Mindanao, in the southern Philippines, is worse than feared as rescue workers continued to discover bodies under knee-deep mud, said a Catholic Relief Services official who coordinates the agency’s storm response in early December. “It looks like a tsunami hit. It’s just complete and total destruction. Whole hillsides were washed away in flash floods,” said Joe Curry, the C.R.S. country representative. “The staff there have been through a half dozen typhoons and floods in the Philippines, and they say this is probably the worst,” Curry added. Typhoon Bopha made landfall on the east coast of Mindanao on Dec. 4, lashing the island with 120-mph winds and torrential rains. Curry said that a C.R.S. team reached New Bataan, a city of about 80,000 in the Compostela Valley, on Dec. 6 and found much of the community under mud and without electricity. At press time the death toll was more than 700 and expected to climb higher.

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