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Update on Aftermath of Typhoon Ravaged Philippines

By: ap
By: ap

GUIUAN, Philippines (AP) -- The number of human lives lost to Typhoon Haiyan (HY'-ahn) in the central Philippines is becoming clearer.
The Philippines' main disaster agency says the death toll now stands at 3,633 with another 1,179 people listed as missing. Nearly 12,500 people were injured. Most of the casualties occurred on Leyte (LAY'-tay) and Samar islands.
One week after Typhoon Haiyan (HY'-ahn) razed the eastern part of the Philippines, leaving 600,000 homeless, survivors have begun rebuilding, with or without help from their government or foreign aid groups. People swept dirt from the pews of a church in the disaster zone Friday, while the buzzing of chain saws reverberated in the streets and piles of debris were burned.
Meanwhile, the international aid effort is gathering steam, highlighted by the helicopter drops conducted from the American aircraft carrier USS George Washington.
The U.N.'s top humanitarian official says more than 107,000 people have received food assistance so far and 11 foreign and 22 domestic medical teams are in operation.

TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) -- All through her very short life, the parents had squeezed oxygen into her tiny body with a hand-held pump to keep her alive.
In the end, their prayers and whatever little medical care doctors could muster in the typhoon-ravaged hospital were not enough. Althea Mustacia, aged 3 days, died on Saturday.
She was born on Nov. 13, five days after Typhoon Haiyan annihilated a vast swath of the Philippines, killing more than 3,600 people. The storm's aftermath is still claiming victims -- Althea was one of the latest.
A doctor said Sunday that Althea's parents took her away, wrapped in a small bundle.

TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) -- Safe water is a pressing concern for the survivors of the devastating Philippines typhoon.
It's desperately scarce in storm-ravaged parts of the country. Without it, people struggling to rebuild and even survive risk catching intestinal and other diseases that can spread if they're unable to wash properly.
While aid agencies work to provide a steady supply, survivors are resorting to scooping from streams, catching rainwater in buckets and smashing open pipes to obtain what is left from disabled pumping stations. With at least 600,000 people homeless, the demand is massive.
It took several days for aid groups to bring large quantities of water to Tacloban, the eastern Philippine city where the typhoon wreaked its worst destruction. By Friday, tankers were arriving.
Water provisioning should get a big boost with the recent arrival of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George Washington, which has a distillation plant that can produce 400,000 gallons of fresh water per day.
Britain also is sending a carrier with facilities to produce fresh water.
Filtration systems are now operating in Tacloban and two other towns in Leyte province.

ABOARD THE USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (AP) -- As soon as Navy pilot Matthew Stafford puts his helicopter down in the village of Borongan, he is rushed by dozens of local men who form a line to unload the supplies he has flown in from the USS George Washington aircraft carrier.
On the Philippine islands of Leyte and Samar that were shattered by Typhoon Haiyan, there is no doubt about it: the U.S. military has been a godsend.
But while U.S. military support can be critical when during disasters, staging massive humanitarian relief missions for allies isn't just about being a good neighbor. They can be a strategic and publicity goldmine for U.S. troops whose presence in Asia isn't always portrayed in such a favorable light -- and a powerful warning to countries that aren't on board.

TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) -- Churches in parts of the Philippines destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan are holding Sunday services.
Bells rang out from the badly damaged Santa Nino church in the mostly leveled city of Tacloban.
Marino Caintic says his home was only partially damage and he came to pray and give thanks that all his family survived.
He says "coming to mass gives people hope that things will eventually get better."
More than 80 percent of the 90 million people in the Philippines are Roman Catholic.
The Nov. 8 typhoon killed more than 3,500 people and destroyed or damaged hundreds of thousands of homes.
A major international relief effort is underway to assist survivors.

BEIJING (AP) -- China says it is ready to send rescue and medical teams to the Philippines, one week after a devastating typhoon struck the island nation.
The belated offer published in a statement on the Foreign Ministry's website Sunday follows an extremely modest pledge of less than $2 million in disaster assistance. The small offering has been attributed to spite over a festering dispute with Manila over South China Sea islands claimed by both sides.
In the statement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei was quoted as saying that China was monitoring conditions in the Philippines and the emergency teams would depart for the hardest hit areas "should conditions permit."
There was no immediate indication whether the aid teams were preparing to depart or whether the Philippine government had accepted the Chinese offer.


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