The Philippines government has appealed for intenational help as nearly 2,00,000 people were homeless and 475 confirmed dead after the Philippines’ worst typhoon this year.
Typhoon Bopha ploughed across Mindanao island on Tuesday, flattening whole towns in its path as hurricane-force winds brought torrential rain that triggered a deadly combination of floods and landslides.
Erinea Cantilla and her family of six walked barefoot for two days in a vain search for food and shelter through a muddy wasteland near the mountainous town of New Bataan after the deluge destroyed their house and banana and cocoa farm.
“Everything we had is gone. The only ones left are dead people,” Cantilla said.
The army said it was looking for at least 377 missing people while seeking help for more than 1,79,000 others who sheltered in schools, gyms and other buildings after losing everything.
Officials said many victims were poor migrants who flocked to landslide-prone sites like New Bataan and the nearby town of Monkayo to farm the lower slopes of mountains or work at unregulated mines in the gold rush area.