Death toll in Philippines floods tops 140, UN relief office says

24 December 2003

The death toll resulting from the flooding, landslides and tornado that struck the central Philippines last week has risen to 143, with the number of people affected by the disaster now doubling to more than 200,000, the United Nations said today.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 54 persons have been injured and 112 are still missing, while another 18,000 people are sheltering in 21 evacuation centres.

Incessant rains over a number of days triggered flooding, landslides and a tornado last Friday in eight provinces in the central part of the country, causing an estimated $2.68 million in damages and forcing thousands from their homes.

National volunteers and rescue teams continue rescue operations, and national and local disaster councils have provided rice, assorted relief goods, used clothing, antibiotic and supplies.

In response to the Government’s request for international assistance, the United States, Japan, Germany and Australia have come forward with cash, goods, and search and rescue support, OCHA said. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is also giving $60,000 and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is supporting an agricultural needs assessment. OCHA has provided an emergency grant of $50,000.

 

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