Soldiers unload another victim of typhoon Bopha as retrieval operations continue at the hardest hit New Bataan township, Compostela Valley in southern Philippines Sunday Dec. 9, 2012. The number of missing in the wake of a typhoon that devastated parts of the southern Philippines has jumped to nearly 900 after families and fishing companies reported losing contact with more than 300 fishermen in the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean, officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez) / BULLIT MARQUEZ
cbsnews.com / December 9, 2012, 8:03 AM
NEW BATAAN, PHILIPPINES The number of people missing after a typhoon devastated parts of the southern Philippines jumped to nearly 900 after families and fishing companies reported losing contact with more than 300 fishermen at sea, officials said Sunday.
The fishermen from southern General Santos city and nearby Sarangani province left a few days before Typhoon Bopha hit the main southern island of Mindanao on Tuesday, triggering flash floods that killed more than 600, Civil Defense chief Benito Ramos said.
Ramos said the fishermen were headed to the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea and to the Pacific Ocean. He said there has been no contact from them for a week.
“We have declared them missing,” he said. “Maybe they are still alive.”