MANILA, Philippines (December 16, 2012)--The death toll from a typhoon that devastated mountainous and coastal towns in the southern Philippines with ferocious winds and flash floods this month has risen to more than 1,000, Benito Ramos, who heads the government's main disaster-response agency, said Sunday.
Ramos said previously unreported deaths boosted the toll from Typhoon Bopha to 1,020.
A massive search for 844 other people, including hundreds of fishermen and villagers who went missing in flood-swept mountainside towns, is to continue through the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
Ramos said army troops, police and government personnel have canceled Christmas celebrations to help survivors deal with losses and search for missing loved ones, especially in the worst-hit provinces of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, where international aid groups have descended.
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