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More bodies turn up: 474 dead

This photo released by the Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division shows an aerial view of houses damaged by flash floods caused by Typhoon Pablo in Compostela Valley province on Thursday Dec. 6, 2012. The powerful typhoon that washed away emergency shelters, a military camp and possibly entire families in Mindanao has killed hundreds of people with nearly 400 missing. AP

MANILA, Philippines - As the number of deaths from "Pablo" continued to balloon, the massive destruction left by the super typhoon in Mindanao became more clearer on Friday with the goverment's disaster response agency estimating the cost of its damage to infrastructure and agriculture rising at P4 billion.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has confirmed a total of 474 fatalities from the typhoon.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Davao region reported 223 deaths in Compostela Valley alone. A total of 216 more cadavers have also been recovered in the massive search and retrieval operations in the typhoon-ravaged Davao Oriental.

The NDRRMC has also recorded 35 more fatalities in areas struck by the typhoon early this week, including Palawan with two deaths; Capiz in Western Visayas with one death; Central Visayas with seven deaths; two more from Eastern Visayas, 11 from Northern Mindanao and another 11 from Caraga region.

The agency also said that provincial and local officials are also having difficulty in processing the recovered cadavers as most remained unidentified as of yesterday.

Awaiting identification by their surviving relatives are 110 bodies were retrieved from underneath the debris in the town of New Bataan; 21 from Compostela; 10 from Montevista, all in Compostela Valley; 27 in Boston town in Davao Oriental and nine from Caraga region.

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Aside from the overwhelming number of fatalities, at least 383 individuals have also been reporting missing in wide areas of Mindanao and the Visayas while 64,692 families or a total 310,620 individuals have been displaced in calamity-stricken areas.

These displaced families are currently staying at 569 government-run evacuation centers.

The NDRRMC also reported that a total of 10,320 houses were totally destroyed and 5,530 more sustained partial damage.

Cost of damage in billions

Regional and local official reported Friday that the typhoon's damage to agriculture and infrastructure has reached to at least P4 billion. The amount was expected to further increase as reports from other typhoon-ravaged areas have yet to reach the national government.

Pablo’s massive destruction on government infrastructure particularly on roads, bridges and buildings, was estimated at P630.970 million.

Authorities have yet to estimate the cost of damage wrought by the typhoon in Caraga region and Davao Oriental.

In Davao del Norte, farmers lost an estimated P8 million worth of rice and other crops due to flooding, while some P3.4 billion in rice, corn, coconuts, high value crops like coffee, vegetables, rubber and cacao, as well fisheries were lost in Compostela Valley.

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