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Philippines declares state of calamity after deadly typhoon

Published on Dec 8, 2012 5:15 PM
This handout photograph taken on Dec 7, 2012, and released by Malacañang Photo Bureau shows an aerial view of uprooted coconut trees in Compostela Valley in the southern Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Bopha. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW BATAAN, Philippines (REUTERS) - Philippine President Benigno Aquino declared a state of national calamity on Saturday, four days after this year's strongest typhoon left nearly 1,000 people dead or missing mostly in the country's resource-rich south.

A price freeze on basic commodities was put into effect, and local governments were authorised to utilise their calamity funds for search, relief and rescue operations.

The national disaster agency put the death toll at 459 and a further 532 were missing, mostly in the Mindanao provinces of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

Thousands have been left homeless by typhoon Bopha which hit land on Tuesday with winds stronger than Hurricane Sandy that devastated the US West Coast in October.

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