The death toll from a typhoon that devastated the southern Philippines earlier this month has topped 1,000 as hundreds more remain missing, the government said on Sunday. Typhoon Bopha killed 1,020 people, mostly on the southern island of Mindanao where floods and landslides caused major damage on December 4, civil defence chief Benito Ramos said. A total of 844 people remain missing, about half of them fishermen who ventured out to sea before Bopha hit, Ramos said, adding he feared many of the missing were dead. “The death toll will go higher. We found a lot of bodies yesterday, buried under fallen logs and debris,” he said. He added the toll from Bopha, the worst natural disaster to hit the country this year, would exceed the 1,268 confirmed dead after Typhoon Washi struck the southern Philippines in December 2011. Ramos said army troops, police and government personnel had 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.