DO NOT PUBLISH: Typhoon toll rises: 475 dead, many homeless in Philippines
NEW BATAAN, Philippines (AFP) - Nearly 200,000 people were homeless and 475 confirmed dead after the Philippines' worst typhoon this year, officials said on Thursday, as the government appealed for international help.
Typhoon Bopha ploughed across Mindanao island on Tuesday, flattening whole towns in its path as hurricane-force winds brought torrential rain that triggered a deadly combination of floods and landslides.
Mr Erinea Cantilla and her family of six walked barefoot for two days in a vain search of food and shelter through a muddy wasteland near the mountainous town of New Bataan after the deluge destroyed their house and banana and cocoa farm.
"Everything we had is gone. The only ones left are dead people," she said as her husband, three children and a granddaughter reached the outskirts of the town, which itself had been nearly totally obliterated.