Developing

Philippines Typhoon: Deadly Scale Becomes Clear

The number of people killed in the Philippines typhoon may rise as high as 500.

Rescuers and recovery teams are continuing to discover devastated communities in remote regions of Mindanao Island.

Typhoon Bopha hit the east of Mindanao, far south of the capital Manila, at dawn on Tuesday morning.

Initial reports suggested that no one had been killed and only a few people injured.

However, as communication was restored and remote regions accessed, the reality became clear.

TV footage shows scores of dead bodies all caked in mud. Those who survived sit, stunned, next to their dead relatives.

One young boy is carried to safety by his cousin. His father is in hospital but his mother and his brother are dead.

Hundreds of the injured across Mindanao will have the same stories. Many thousands more are homeless.

Mindanao has the perfect landscape for storm destruction - much of the population live in shacks along the coastline, but inland the island is dominated by mountains and rivers.

Many people and their homes were wiped away by flooding and landslides.

In the Compostela Valley in the island's south-east, communities were evacuated to a local school and a community centre which were then hit.

"We didn't think the winds would get that strong. The floods were rushing towards us. We didn't imagine it would turn out that way, so we didn't come here to evacuate," one villager said.

The recovery will continue and the repair work will now begin. However, forecasters predict another storm within the next two weeks.