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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

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UN aid call as typhoon toll tops 600

SWITZERLAND: The United Nations launched a $65 million global aid appeal Monday to help desperate survivors of a typhoon that killed more than 600 people and affected millions in the southern Philippines.

Luiza Carvalho, country officer for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said the funds would initially help provide food, water and emergency shelter to 480,000 people in the worst-hit areas.

A third of the country’s banana harvest was wiped out, leaving tens of thousands of plantation workers without an immediate source of income, according to industry officials.

The civil defence office in Manila said 647 corpses had been recovered.

A total of 780 people are still missing, including about 150 fishermen from General Santos, the country’s tuna capital, who had put to sea before Bopha hit.

Civil defence chief Benito Ramos has said some of those listed as missing could be among more than 200 unidentified bodies, many of them bloated beyond recognition, that have not been claimed by relatives.

At least 5.4 million victims were affected by the typhoon, the civil defence office said.

The typhoon destroyed 81,000 houses, and more than 300,000 survivors face months sheltering in crowded government gyms and schools as officials look for safe places to build new homes.

A 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the typhoon-devastated region at dawn Monday showed the precarious situation survivors find themselves facing, although the quake was too deep to cause any damage.

AFP

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