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Philippine typhoon death toll rising by eight daily
by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP) Dec 15, 2013


Philippine typhoon rebuilding to cost $3bn: Aquino
Manila (AFP) Dec 14, 2013 - The Philippines will need nearly $3 billion to rebuild parts of the country destroyed by the deadliest typhoon in its history, the presidential palace said Saturday.

President Benigno Aquino told reporters in Tokyo late Friday that scores of towns and cities across the central islands that were devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan needed national government help to clean up debris and restore damaged infrastructure.

"The task is really daunting is it not? That's why we are saying it will take about 130 billion pesos ($2.94 billion) to put everybody in at least a better situation than where they were," he said according to a transcript released by Malacanang palace.

Haiyan smashed across the central islands with peak winds of 315 kilometres (195 miles) an hour on November 8, unleashing tsunami-like storm surges that killed thousands of people on the islands of Leyte and Samar.

The official death toll stood Saturday at 6,033, with the authorities still looking for 1,779 people listed as missing.

About a million houses were also destroyed, leaving four million people homeless, according to the government's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Tropical Storm Thelma, which killed about 5,100 people on the Leyte city of Ormoc in 1991, was previously the deadliest storm recorded in the Philippines, which is hit by about 20 typhoons and tropical storms each year.

Aquino was speaking on the sidelines of a summit between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the palace said.

Relief teams are still finding eight to 10 dead bodies a day, more than a month after Super Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the central Philippines, a civil defence official said Sunday.

The number of casualties, which the government placed at 6,057 dead and 1,779 missing, is almost certain to rise, said Rey Gozon, civil defence director for the areas hardest-hit by the killer storm.

"For our region, we are still collecting bodies. We are getting an average eight to 10 additional dead bodies every day," he told AFP.

He also expressed doubt that many of the missing would be found alive, saying so much time had passed since the storm struck with peak winds of 315 kilometres (195 miles) an hour on November 8, flattening whole towns mainly in the central islands of Samar and Leyte.

The latest official count puts Haiyan nearly on par with a 1976 tsunami in the southern Philippines, generated by a major undersea earthquake in the Moro Gulf, which left between 5,000 and 8,000 people dead.

The Haiyan toll has also already surpassed Tropical Storm Thelma, which unleashed floods that killed more than 5,100 people in the central city of Ormoc in 1991, previously the country's deadliest storm.

The government said more than four million people lost their homes to either Haiyan's winds or tsunami-like storm surges, and some would continue to need food aid as well as shelter and jobs.

President Benigno Aquino has said the country will need nearly three billion dollars to repair the damage.

In a speech on Sunday, just after returning from a visit to Japan, Aquino said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told him that Tokyo would be increasing its typhoon reconstruction standby loan to the Philippines from $100 million to $500 million.

This is on top of a $66 million grant already provided by Japan for immediate typhoon relief, he stressed.

"This visit showed what a good friend and ally the Japanese nation is," said Aquino.

In the central island of Leyte which suffered the worst damage from the storm, 1,200 Japanese soldiers had provided relief aid including food, water and medical care, backed up by Japanese naval vessels.

The troops were warmly welcomed in an area which had been brutally occupied by Japanese forces during World War II.

Other multilateral and official aid agencies and private organisations have also been active in the storm-ravaged area where debris and garbage still litter the streets and the stench of death bodies lingers in the air.

On Sunday, members of the Taiwan-based Tzu Chi Foundation handed out financial aid to residents of the stricken city of Tacloban to be used in repairing their homes and rebuilding their lives.

Angeline Asoy, 31, a housewife with six children whose home was washed out by the storm, burst into tears when she received a blanket and 15,000 pesos ($340) from the Buddhist charity group.

"We will use the money for materials to build a new house," she said.

strs-mm/erf

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SHAKE AND BLOW
Philippines typhoon death toll tops 6,000
Manila (AFP) Dec 13, 2013
The number of people dead after one of the world's strongest typhoons struck the Philippines has risen above 6,000, the government said Friday, with nearly 2,000 others still missing. Five weeks after Super Typhoon Haiyan destroyed entire towns across the nation's central islands, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council put the official death toll at 6,009, making it the ... read more


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