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article imageTyphoon death toll rises to 322 as Bopha exits Philippine area

By Leo Reyes     Dec 5, 2012 in Environment
At least 322 people have been reported dead as super typhoon Bopha moves away from the big islands of Mindanao in southern Philippines on its way to the Luzon area of the West Philippine sea toward the direction of China or Vietnam.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) says the center of the typhoon was spotted 350 km West of Coron, Palawan as of 4:00 a.m. Thursday local time, with maximum sustained winds of 115 kph near the center.
On Friday morning, Bopha will be 650 km West of Metro Manila or outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
Except for Calamian group of islands in Luzon, all typhoon signals are now lowered, according to PAGASA.
The National Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said more than 200,000 people were affected by the onslaught of Bopha (local name Pablo).
As of Wednesday night, NDRRMC said 167,294 people or 35,603 families are temporarily seeking shelter in 372 evacuation centers in Visayas and Mindanao, ABS-CBN News reports.
Badly hit by the super typhoon was the town of New Bataan in Compostela Valley, where at least 87 people perished and more than 300 still missing as of Thursday.
In Davao Oriental, where Bopha made landfall last Tuesday morning, more than 100 people were also reported killed, with many residents still missing.
The big island of Luzon, including Metro Manila was spared of the wrath of Bopha as it changed course westward late Tuesday afternoon and by early evening the super howler was headed for Palawan and Sulu sea.
The Visayas area, including Negros, Cebu and Bohol, were likewise spared of the Bopha's wrath as it changed direction in late afternoon of Tuesday.
Many parts of Mindanao still remain isolated as power lines were damaged and cut off due to strong wind that fell trees and electric posts at the height of the typhoon on Tuesday.
Thousands of passengers were stranded in many seaports and airports throughout the country as more than 100 flights and several shipping schedules were cancelled due to strong wind and rough seas.
Bopha is the strongest typhoon to hit Mindanao, one of the big islands in the Philippines which is rarely hit by storms and typhoons all year round.
But in December last year, tropical storm Sendong hit many parts of Mindanao, killing more than 1,200 and leaving damaged farms and infrastructure and left thousands of residents homeless.
More updates on typhoon Bopha, can be viewed here.
More about typhoon bopha, typhoon pablo, Landslide, Flood, Philippines