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Typhoon Bopha Slams Philippines, Kills Over 230 and Destroys Banana Crops

Typhoon Bopha, the strongest off season storm of 2012 to hit coastal, farming, and mining towns within the Philippines, has slammed portions of the country and killed over 280 people and rising. The storm hit landfall on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 and caused massive destruction in Compostela Valley in Mindanao. Initial estimates of damages caused by the storm are anticipated to be a minimum of $4 billion pesos or $98 million dollars with over 50,000 residents displaced due to evacuations and destruction.

Landslides, torrential rains, flash floods, and high winds ranging from 75 mph to 93 mph slammed portions of the island nation and washed away entire villages. Hundreds are still missing as rescuers attempt to clear roads rendered impassable by fallen bridges and trees in the wake of the storm. Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon stated during an interview following the storm that travel in the area was like "running an obstacle course."

Additionally, as the world's 5th ranked banana producer, much of the region's fruit and banana crops were completely wiped out by Bopha. Initial reports suggest that 70 to 80 percent of the plantations in receipt of a 569 million peso investment from Del Monte Philippines on November 14, 2012 for economic development of lands in Mindanao - an hardest hit by the storm.

Forecasters from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration report that the "Super Typhoon Bopha" had sustained winds greater than 240 mph as it gathered strength over the ocean before it made landfall in the Philippines. They predict the storm will weaken as it continues its west northwest path across the island nation.

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