Philippine authorities on Wednesday raised to 274 the death toll from flooding and landslides caused by Typhoon Bopha, while 279 other people are missing and more than 218,000 have been displaced.

The head of the National Council for Prevention and Response to Disasters, Benito Ramos, told the media that 339 people have been injured in storm-related incidents.

The majority of the fatalities occurred in the eastern part of the island of Mindanao, where on Tuesday the typhoon made landfall with sustained winds of 175 kph (109 mph).

Many people were killed when they were buried in landslides, while others drowned or were swept away by powerful water currents.

The armed forces have joined the rescue operations and are providing assistance to those affected by the storm, but weather conditions and the state of affairs on the ground are making such work difficult.

Bopha lost strength after making landfall in The Philippines and now it is packing sustained winds of only 120 kph (74 mph) as it moves toward the South China Sea.

The Philippine government had prepared the country for the arrival of Bopha, the 16th storm of the 2012 season, by relocating people away from high-risk zones and suspending school in the affected provinces, among other measures.

Even so, the force of the winds and the torrential downpours brought by the storm exceeded all predictions and Bopha has turned out to be the worst typhoon of the year.

Last year, something similar happened with Typhoon Washi, which arrived unexpectedly in the Philippine archipelago in December and killed some 1,200 people. EFE