UN Relief Official Says More Aid is Needed
The U.N.’s humanitarian chief is appealing for $300 million to help the more than 11 million people in the Philippines estimated to have been affected by last week’s typhoon.
Valerie Amos, speaking in Manila, said U.N. teams haven’t been able to get into remote communities. And she says even in the devastated city of Tacloban (tahk-LOH’-bahn), the U.N. hasn’t been able to bring in the amount of supplies that are needed, because of the debris there and logistical problems.
But a spokesman for the president of the Philippines says relief goods are now getting into the city, and that the supply should increase now that the airport and a bridge to the island of Leyte (LAY’-tay) are open.
Still, residents of Tacloban are getting desperate. One 81-year-old woman, her clothes soaked from a pouring rain, said, “We need help. Nothing is happening.” She said, “We haven’t eaten since yesterday afternoon.” She was among the people who failed to get a flight out of tacloban for Manila.
Pallets of supplies and teams of doctors have been waiting to get into Tacloban, a city of about 220,000 that bore the full force of the winds and the storm surges Friday. Most of the city is in ruins.
Obama gives condolences to the Philippines in call
President Barack Obama spoke to the president of the Philippines to express condolences for the devastation brought by Typhoon Haiyan (HY’-ahn).
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama spoke to President Benigno Aquino III Tuesday morning.
Carney says the president has directed his administration “to mount a swift and coordinated response to save lives and provide assistance to alleviate suffering.” He noted that USAID and the U.S. military are providing relief on the ground, and that the aircraft carrier USS George Washington and several escort ships are on their way to provide emergency services.
The official death toll has risen to 1,774, but authorities have said they expect the number to go much higher.
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