Typhoon Pablo Moves to Palawan, Leaves 77 Dead

MANILA,Philippines—Death toll rose to 77 as Typhoon Pablo moves to Palawan, according to latest body count of the National Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

Among the 77 dead bodies, however, only 14 were identified by authorities including Staff Sergeant Maximo Olivares, who happened to be one of the 33 soldiers to engage into a rescue operation in New Bataan but got caught up in the Compostela Valley landslide on their way.

Also, the number of injured individuals rose to 35 while six were declared missing.

With cellular sites down and power out, rescue operations have never been tougher, particularly in Compostela Valley. Additional rescue personnel and equipment are expected to be deployed Wednesday, December 5.

Consequently, it looks like the NDRRMC is confronted by another challenge brought about by the typhoon. While they reported 77 fatalities, the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police have already reported over 80 fatalities.

According to media interviews of NDRRMC Executive Director Ramos, the disparity is likely brought about by power failure and security problems. He also noted that the council is cautious in reporting fatalities and casualties, which should undergo standard operating procedures on ground and among operations center.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Pablo has already made its landfall in Palawan this morning with 120 kilometre per hour (kph) of strong winds near the center and gustiness of 150 kph.