Category: World / December 4, 2012 4:00 PM EST
The strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2012 pounded the southern island of Mindanao on Tuesday (December 4) leaving about 40 people dead or missing. The storm destroyed homes and brought down power and communication lines.
Typhoon Bopha, with wind gusts of up to 121 mph, made landfall at dawn, uprooting trees and tearing off roofs.
About 40 people were killed or missing in flash floods and landslides as waters and soil had swept through the area.
Some families who failed to flee to higher ground made improvised shelters on the roadside.
Media said dozens of people were injured by flying debris, falling trees and swept away by swollen rivers and flash floods.
Felled trees and debris blocked roads and knocked down power and communication lines. Many provinces in the storm's path were still without electricity.
The relatively low death toll was due in part to an early evacuation. More than 56,000 people were staying dry in gymnasiums and public school buildings serving as temporary shelters late on Tuesday.
About 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year, often causing death and destruction.