Death toll from Typhoon Bopha tops 1,000 in the Philippines

Residents gather their belongings after their house was destroyed by strong winds brought about by Typhoon Bophal earlier this month.

Story highlights

  • The chances of finding people alive dim with each passing day
  • More than 844 are still missing
  • Among them are hundreds of fishermen
  • Bopha is the deadliest storm to hit the country this year

The grim toll from a typhoon that devastated southern Philippines earlier this month continues to climb, with 1,020 reported dead as of Sunday morning, authorities said.

Officials fear the toll from the December 4 storm will rise further. Because while rescue crews continue searching, the chances of finding people alive dim with each passing day.

With 844 still missing and 1.2 million families displaced, Bopha is the strongest and deadliest storm to hit the Philippines this year, according to the country's emergency management agency.

Among the missing are hundreds of fishermen who went to sea before the storm hit. Officials hope that they could yet be found sheltering on small islands out at sea.

If the death toll continues to rise, Bopha could eventually prove deadlier than Tropical Storm Washi, which killed 1,268 people a year ago.

Typhoon hits where not expected
Typhoon hits where not expected


    Typhoon hits where not expected


Typhoon hits where not expected 02:25

But its toll would still remain far below that of Tropical Storm Thelma, the country's most lethal storm on record that left more than 5,000 people dead in 1991.

The worst of the death and destruction from Bopha took place on the southern island of Mindanao, where the storm hit first and hardest with gusts as strong as 220 kph (138 mph).

The storm, known locally as Pablo, was the most powerful typhoon to hit Mindanao in decades. It set off flash floods and landslides that engulfed people sheltering in their rickety houses in remote, unprepared regions of the island.

      CNN Recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      North Korea nuclear dream video

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photos: Faces of the world

      Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      How to fix a soccer match

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      15 biggest souvenir-buying no-no's

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.