Super typhoon Bopha made landfall December 3 on the Philippines’ southern island of Mindanao. The Category 5 storm, known as Pablo in the Philippines, wrought widespread devastation throughout the island, but hit Mindanao’s two eastern provinces Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental the hardest. These numbers represent some of the tragic and real consequences from Bopha’s path.
The number of people confirmed dead by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council as of December 10, although the total is expected to rise as rescue workers access harder-hit communities. While Mindanao has experienced storms before, including last year’s deadly Typhoon Washi, the island is typically shielded from typhoons, and has limited capacity to respond to such powerful natural disasters.
The percentage of Compostela Valley’s total economic output attributed to small, illegal mines. Civil Defense Chief Benito Ramos said that the region’s large number of illegal mining and logging projects most likely exacerbated the storm’s destruction, as deforestation denuded the hillsides, and people in search of work settled in mountainous areas prone to landslides and flashfloods.
The number of people still missing. The total spiked dramatically after officials lost communication December 8 with over 300 fishermen sailing to the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Officials also reported more than 1,500 people injured from the storm.
The total number of people affected by Bopha. The storm caused extensive infrastructure damage and power outages, and left close to half a million people homeless and housed in temporary evacuation centers.
The losses estimated for Mindanao’s banana export industry, according to Stephen Antig, Director of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association. Bopha destroyed almost 20 percent of Mindanao’s banana plantations, which is particularly costly in a poor region heavily dependent on agriculture for sustenance. The Philippines is the world’s third-largest Banana producer and exporter.
The international aid goal set by the United Nations and Philippines government. The joint project will focus on the 480,000 in the worst-hit areas in need of emergency food, water and shelter. President Benigno Aquino III declared a state of national calamity December 7, which makes available emergency funds and permits price controls on basic commodities in affected areas.
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