NEW BATAAN, Philippines (AP) — A powerful typhoon has killed more than 280 people in the southern Philippines.
Officials fear more bodies may be found as rescuers reach hard-hit areas that were isolated by landslides, floods and downed communications.
In one town, a flash flood swamped two emergency shelters and a military camp, killing 78 villagers and soldiers. About 80 people survived the deluge in New Bataan town with injuries, but government estimates put the number of missing anywhere from 50 and to more than 300.
On a roadside, dozens of mud-stained bodies were laid side-by-side, covered by cloth and banana leaves and surrounded by villagers. A man sprayed insecticide on the remains to keep away swarms of flies as stunned parents searched for missing children.
The stormy weather has given way to sunshine today, prompting residents to lay their soaked clothes, books and other belongings out on roadsides to dry.
065-c-22-(Jim Gomez, AP correspondent)-"the country roads"-AP correspondent Jim Gomez reports several villages were wiped out by Typhoon Bhopa. (5 Dec 2012)
<<CUT *065 (12/05/12)>> 00:22 "the country roads"
066-c-18-(Jim Gomez, AP correspondent)-"had this year"-AP correspondent Jim Gomez reports the capital of the Philippines was spared damage from Typhoon Bhopa. (5 Dec 2012)
<<CUT *066 (12/05/12)>> 00:18 "had this year"
GRAPHICSBANK: A rescuer covers bodies recovered from flashflood in New Bataan, Compostela Valley province, Philippines, on texture, with lettering, TYPHOON BHOPA, finished graphic (5 Dec 2012)
APPHOTO XAF101: In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 and released by the Philippine Army, a soldier of the 71st Infantry Battalion, 1001st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army carries a boy along a flooded area in Compostela Valley, southern Philippines. The death toll from Typhoon Bhopa climbed to more than 100 people Wednesday, Dec. 5, while scores of others remain missing in the worst-hit areas of the southern Philippines. (AP Photo/ Philippine Army) NO SALES (5 Dec 2012)
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APPHOTO XBM111: Residents repair their damaged homes after Typhoon Bopha made landfall in Compostela Valley in southeastern Philippines Tuesday Dec. 4, 2012. Typhoon Bopha (local name Pablo), one of the strongest typhoons to hit the Philippines this year, barreled across the country's south on Tuesday, killing at least 40 people and forcing more than 50,000 to flee from inundated villages. (AP Photo/Karlos Manlupig) (4 Dec 2012)
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APPHOTO XAF107: A rescuer covers bodies recovered from flashflood in New Bataan, Compostela Valley province, southern Philippines Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. The death toll from Typhoon Bhopa climbed over 280 Wednesday, while scores of others remain missing in the worst-hit areas of the southern Philippines. (AP Photo/Karlos Manlupig) (5 Dec 2012)
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APPHOTO NY114: This photo provided by NASA and made from the International Space Station on Dec. 2, 2012, shows Typhoon Bopha moving toward the Philippines. Typhoon Bopha slammed into the Davao region of the Philippines early Tuesday, Dec. 4, killing at least seven people and forcing more than 50,000 to flee from inundated villages. (AP Photo/NASA) (4 Dec 2012)
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