'Yolanda' death toll spikes to 5,235; damage at P22-B


Posted at Nov 23 2013 10:20 AM | Updated as of Nov 23 2013 06:20 PM

MANILA -- The death toll from super typhoon "Yolanda" (international name Haiyan) now stands at 5,235, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.

Yolanda, one of the strongest typhoons ever to hit land, has caused more casualties than the 1991 storm that brought flash floods in Ormoc in Leyte, killing 5,010 people.

In its 8 a.m. update on Saturday, the NDRRMC said 23,501 individuals were injured from the typhoon, which wreaked havoc in central Philippines last November 8.

At least 1,613 others, meanwhile, remain missing.

Most of the casualties were from the badly-hit Eastern Visayas region.

Most of the victims either drowned or were crushed by collapsed structures and trees, as storm surges six to seven meters high swallowed coastal areas of Tacloban City in Leyte, the commercial, education and government hub of the Eastern Visayas.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas on Friday said the death toll from Yolanda is still very likely to go higher.

"Tiyak na tataas pa ito, pero kung gaano kataas, hindi natin masabi," he said, as road clearing and cadaver recovery operations continue in the typhoon-hit areas.

Disaster agency officials echoed his statement, saying that only about 52 percent of Tacloban has been cleared of debris.

Over 10 million people from 10,724 barangays were affected by the massive typhoon.

A total of 1,112,731 houses were damaged, with 552,419 totally destroyed and 560,312 partially damaged, displacing over 4 million individuals.

The cost of damage to agriculture and infrastructure caused by Yolanda has ballooned to over P22 billion, the NDRRMC said. -- With report from Reuters