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Death Toll from Philippine Typhoon Climbs Past 500

Posted at: 12/07/2012 4:10 AM

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NEW BATAAN, Philippines (AP) - Rescuers are digging through mud and debris to retrieve more bodies strewn across a farming valley in the southern Philippines by a powerful typhoon. The death toll from the storm has surpassed 500, with more than 400 people missing.

More than 310,000 people have lost their homes since Typhoon Bopha struck Tuesday and are crowded inside evacuation centers or staying with their families, relying on food and emergency supplies being rushed in by government agencies and aid groups.

President Benigno Aquino III on Friday visited New Bataan town, ground zero of the disaster, saying "I want to know how this tragedy happened and how to prevent a repeat."

Aquino told residents that he's bent on seeking answers in order to improve their conditions and minimize casualties when natural disasters occur.

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