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Asia-pacific

Philippines typhoon death toll tops 5,200, govt says

© afp

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-24

The number of people killed by Typhoon Haiyan has surpassed 5,200, the government of the Philippines said on Friday, with another 1,611 people still missing since the storm devastated the nation on November 8.

The number of people killed in the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan has surpassed 5,200, the government said on Friday, with another 1,611 people still missing.

The official death toll has risen by another 1,200 to 5,209, Reynaldo Balido, the spokesman for the government's disaster management council, told AFP.

Typhoon Haiyan flattened dozens of towns across the central Philippines on November 8, bringing some of the strongest winds ever recorded and generating tsunami-like storm surges.

Balido said the death toll rose sharply on Friday, increasing from 4,015, after officials reported new body counts from communities outside the worst-hit areas.

"If you notice, there was not much movement in the death toll for the past few days. This was because the reporting rules required a casualty report signed by the city mayor and his health officer," he said.

"Now, the reports are coming in from the entire typhoon area."

The Philippines is located along a typhoon belt and the so-called Ring of Fire, a vast area of the Pacific Ocean where many of Earth's earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.

Haiyan now stands as one of the deadliest natural disasters ever recorded in the country, and the worst-ever typhoon.

The only other natural disaster to rival Haiyan was a tsunami triggered by a magnitude-7.9 earthquake in 1976 that killed between 5,000 and 8,000 people on the southern island of Mindanao.

More than four million people were displaced, mainly on the poor, farming islands of Samar and Leyte.

The disaster has triggered a giant, international relief effort, with dozens of countries and relief organisations rushing to deliver food, water and health services to isolated communities.

The US military has performed the highest-profile role, while Japan has sent more than 1,000 troops in its biggest deployment since World War II.

China has sent a 300-bed hospital ship and relief supplies after coming under criticism for its initial modest pledges of aid.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2013-11-22

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