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Bopha aftermath: nearly 300 still missing

By Shirley Escalante, Manila, Wednesday January 23, 2013 - 19:29 EDT

The Philippines Disaster Management Chief says almost 300 fishermen missing since Typhoon Bopha struck the south-eastern region in December have not yet been found, correcting information which said the fishermen have been rescued and are recovering in hospital. 

Benito Ramos, who heads the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, says there was a mix-up in the agency's casualty figures, due mainly to the surge of unverified information, and stress impinging on the agency's staff. 

Mr Ramos has taken responsibility for the misinformation.

He says the agency has corrected its figures, putting the number of those missing from Bopha's onslaught at 841, including missing fishermen from the Philippines tuna capital, General Santos City.

More than a thousand others have been confirmed killed.

Among the missing fishermen from General Santos City is Carlos Padilla, whose 19-year-old daughter, Charlene, contacted Radio Australia, in an effort to get information on her father.

The fishermen set out to sea aboard 47 boats days before Bopha struck and have failed to return home.

The Philippines Navy and Coast Guard conducted search and rescue operations for the missing fishermen for more than a month.


© ABC 2013

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