Philippines death toll tops 2,000 people

MANILA [PeterPaul.ca] — The Philippines confirmed Thursday that at least 2,357 people are dead after Super Typhoon Haiyan [Typhoon Yolanda locally] struck the archipelago on November 8 with wind speeds of 275 kph recorded in some areas. Another 3,891 others are injured and 77 are missing, state media said.

“They need everything,” wrote UNICEF Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Specialist Nonoy Fajardo in a dispatch Wednesday from Tacloban—the hardest hit area. Relief supplies are slowly trickling into other affected areas.

“Supply of goods in most areas remain stable except for places which are difficult to access due to damaged roads, such as Roxas City, where supplies come from Iloilo City,” the government said on their website. As of Wednesday, all affected roadways and bridges were passable. “The DTI is also monitoring the condition of roads going to Tacloban, Ormoc and Leyte to see if supplies from Manila and Cebu have been delivered to said cities.”

At press time, operations at most Philippine airports were normal except Tacloban which is running limited service. The Department of Trade and Industry [DTI] declared a price freeze on food items and supplies in affected areas to lessen the economic burden on the thousands of victims.

Over $95 million USD has been pledged from over 30 countries since the disaster struck. Doctors Without Borders pledged 200 tons of aid ranging from hygiene kits, medicine and tents. UNICEF pledged 200 tons of aid expected to arrive in the region on Tuesday. Sanitation and water purification equipment will arrive afterwards, a government tally showed.

A Filipino police commander was fired Thursday after telling reporters shortly after the storm that the death toll could exceed 10,000 people, the New York Times reported. State media identified the official as Chief Supt. Elmer Soria, who was “relieved from his post” and “admonished” Thursday.

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