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November 10, 2013

Relief efforts underway after Philippine typhoon

TACLOBAN, Philippines — Two days after one of the strongest typhoons on record slammed into the Philippines, the death toll in the devastated country is rising. Thousands are feared dead across the hardest-hit areas, including Tacloban, the Leyte provincial capital of 200,000 people. About 300-400 bodies have already been recovered. A mass burial was planned Sunday in Palo town near Tacloban. Haiyan hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippine archipelago on Friday and quickly barreled across its central islands before exiting into the South China Sea, packing winds of 147 miles per hour that gusted to 170 mph, and a storm surge that caused sea waters to rise 20 feet.

The U.S. and other governments and agencies are mounting a major relief effort to help victims of the Philippine typhoon.

Brian Goldbeck, acting ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, issued a disaster declaration to provide an immediate $100,000 for relief efforts. Officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development are deployed around the country to monitor the damage.

Other charities working to provide relief in the Philippines include:

  • The UNITED NATIONS WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME said it has allocated $2 million for the disaster response and officials joined an assessment mission to survey damage in Leyte and Samar provinces. WFP said it will send more than 40 tons of high energy biscuits and work with the Filipino government to help with logistics and emergency communications systems. It asks for donations at www.wfpusa.org or by texting the word AID to 27722 to instantly donate $10.
  • UNICEF said its staff in the Philippines is being repositioned to help in relief efforts and 66 tons of emergency supplies are being sent from Copenhagen. An airlift set to arrive on Tuesday will include water purification systems, storage equipment and sanitation supplies. Donations can be made to UNICEF at unicef.org/support.
  • The AMERICAN RED CROSS said it has deployed two people to assist with assessments in the Philippines and activated its family tracing services. It asked those who want to support relief efforts to mail a check to their local American Red Cross chapter, with “Philippines Typhoons and Flood” in the memo line. Go to redcross.org for local chapter information or redcross.org.ph to donate directly to the Philippine Red Cross.

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