Red Cross fears up to 1,000 may have died in Philippines typhoon
DARAGA, Philippines: Hopes virtually vanished Sunday for finding survivors of typhoon-triggered mudslides that engulfed entire villages in the eastern Philippines, with the Red Cross fearing the death toll could reach 700.
The government's National Disaster Coordinating Center reported 309 bodies have been retrieved and 298 people remained missing three days after Typhoon Durian struck, triggering mudslides in worst-hit Albay province.
Sen. Richard Gordon, who heads the local Red Cross, said the death toll could easily reach 700 "on the low side," based on official casualty figures and reports his group obtained from mayors of devastated villages.
"There are many unidentified bodies, there could be a lot more hidden below. Whole families may have been wiped out," Gordon told The Associated Press by phone.