On behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of South Africa, President Jacob Zuma has expressed his deepest condolences to his counterpart, President Benigno Aquino, the Government and the people of the Republic of the Philippines in the wake of typhoon Bopha, which struck Southern Philippines on Tuesday, 4 December 2012.
This tragedy comes almost a year after typhoon Washi claimed the lives of 1 500 people. Typhoon Bopha brought about wind speeds of up to 210 km/h, causing widespread floods, mass landslides and destruction. The death toll stands at 647 and is expected to continue to rise. Another 800 people are reported missing, thousands are injured, over 200 000 people are left homeless and thousands more are in evacuation shelters.
President Zuma said: "During this time of pain and suffering, particularly in the case of those who have lost loved ones, please be assured that the Government and people of South Africa share in your sorrow. We trust that the resilience of the people of the Philippines, that has seen them through very difficult times in the past, will help them overcome this great loss and devastation."