World

Death toll from Philippine typhoon nears 300

NEW BATAAN, Philippines — Stunned parents searching for missing children examined a row of mud-stained bodies covered with banana leaves while survivors dried their soaked belongings on roadsides Wednesday, a day after a powerful typhoon killed nearly 300 people in the southern Philippines.

Officials fear more bodies may be found as rescuers reach hard-hit areas that were isolated by landslides, floods, and downed communications.

At least 151 people died in the worst-hit province of Compostela Valley when Typhoon Bopha lashed the region Tuesday.

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That included 78 villagers and soldiers who perished in a flash flood that swamped two emergency shelters and a military camp, provincial spokeswoman Fe Maestre said.

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Disaster-response agencies reported 284 dead in the region and 14 fatalities elsewhere from the typhoon, one of the strongest to hit the country this year.

About 80 people survived the deluge in New Bataan with injuries, and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who visited the town, said 319 others remained missing.

‘‘These were whole families among the registered missing,’’ Roxas told the ABS-CBN TV network. ‘‘Entire families may have been washed away.’’

The farming town of 45,000 people was a muddy wasteland of collapsed houses and coconut and banana trees felled by Bopha’s ferocious winds.