Typhoon Bopha death toll at 540

Dec. 9, 2012 at 9:13 AM

MANILA, Philippines, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- The death toll from Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines has increased to 540 while 1,088 people were injured and 827 were missing, authorities said Sunday.

Typhoon Bopha, which has affected about 5.40 million people, hit the Philippines Tuesday and has since wreaked havoc across the island nation, www.sunstar.com reported.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director Benito Ramos confirmed a report stating the higher death toll Sunday.

The report said 77,192, families or 368,672 people, were being housed in 173 evacuation centers and about $14.8 billion of damage to agriculture, infrastructure and private property had been recorded, Ramos said.

The U.S. Department of National Defense said it would extend assistance to the Philippines in relief operations for the victims.

"At the request of the government of Philippines, Secretary (Leon) Panetta has directed U.S. Pacific Command to support U.S. government humanitarian relief operations in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Bopha," the department said in a statement.

Bopha was heading back toward the Philippines early Sunday and weather officials warned to be aware of flooding and possible landslides as the country braced for a second hit from the storm.

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