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Philippines: Death toll less than feared

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Philippines: Death toll less than feared


Officials now say the number of dead after Typhoon Haiyan tore through the central Philippines is probably closer to 2,500 than the 10,000 previously estimated.

But with remote areas still to be reached, the government has no idea of the true number of dead and missing.

As the days pass, survivors are becoming increasingly desperate.

Seven families in one area have taken refuge in a school, one of a few buildings left standing able to offer a modicum of shelter.

One woman begged for help:

“We need food, clothes and medicine,” she said. “The children get only one meal a day. The smallest is two months old and he’s got fever. We really need help.”

The city of Tacloban found itself at the heart of the storm. As people waited at its destroyed airport, hoping for a plane ride to safety, the heavens opened again with yet more rain.

The airport is where the mounting international relief programme is being focused but there is a problem – there are not enough planes small enough to land on its short runway.

But as dawn broke on Wednesday morning, an aircraft carrying emergency shelter units did arrive. The UN has also launched its own appeal for over 230 million euros.

The next challenge is to get the help to those who need it.

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