Philippines’ Aquino ‘tempted to despair’ at typhoon toll

by ERIC DELA CRUZ, Reuters
November 18, 2013

MANILA – The United Nations expressed fear on Monday that some Philippine islands hit by a giant typhoon have not been reached 10 days after disaster struck and President Benigno Aquino said the scale of suffering “tempted him to despair”.

Authorities estimate more than 3,900 people were killed when Typhoon Haiyan, one of the largest ever recorded, made landfall in the central Philippines and the sea surged ashore.

Philippine authorities, the U.S. military and international agencies face a mounting humanitarian crisis, with the number of people displaced by the catastrophe estimated at four million, up from 900,000 late last week.

Bernard Kerblat, UN High Commissioner for Refugees representative for the Philippines, said the agency was still facing coordination problems and bottlenecks.

“As of now, personally, I am not so sure that we’ve reached every single portion of the territory where people are in need of aid,” he said.

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