'Pablo' death toll soars to 647

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 10 2012 09:19 AM | Updated as of Dec 10 2012 09:35 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The death toll from typhoon "Pablo" is now at 647, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Monday.

NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos said 430 of the bodies have been identified and turned over to their relatives, while 217 have yet to be claimed by their loved ones.

The figure is expected to rise as 780 remain missing.

Ramos admitted that the odds of finding survivors are now slim since it has been a week since the typhoon occurred.

"Pang-lima o pang-anim na araw na ito, medyo slim ang chance na makakita ng buhay pero hindi tayo nawawalan pa ng pag-asa na meron, may mga survivors," he told dzMM.

Ramos also noted that damaged roads are hampering the transport of relief goods, but the Navy and Philippine Coast Guard are delivering the goods by ship.

He added that an American C-130 plane is expected to ferry aid to affected areas today as part of the US defense department's commitment to humanitarian efforts.

Affected residents were also being given stress debriefing to ease the trauma brought by the deluge, Ramos said. – with ANC