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Philippines typhoon toll tops 6,000

The number of people dead after one of the world’s strongest typhoons struck the Philippines has risen above 6,000, the government says, with nearly 2,000 others still missing.

Five weeks after Super Typhoon Haiyan destroyed entire towns across the nation’s central islands, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on Thursday put the official death toll at 6,009, making it the Philippines’ deadliest recorded typhoon.

The council said it is still looking for 1,779 missing people amid an international relief and rehabilitation effort covering a large devastated area about the size of Portugal.

The number of people confirmed dead or unaccounted for continues to rise steadily. On November 23, more than two weeks after the storm struck, officials put the death toll at 5,235 and listed 1,613 people as still missing.

The latest official count puts Haiyan nearly on par with a 1976 tsunami in the southern Philippines, generated by a major undersea earthquake in the Moro Gulf, that left between 5,000 and 8,000 people dead.

The Haiyan toll has already surpassed Tropical Storm Thelma, which unleashed floods that killed more than 5,100 people in the central city of Ormoc in 1991, previously the country’s deadliest storm.

The United Nations asked donors this week to more than double their emergency aid donations to the Philippines to $US791 million ($A889.86 million) to cover needs over 12 months.

The government said more than four million people lost their homes to either Haiyan’s 315 kilometres per hour winds or tsunami-like storm surges, and some would continue to need food aid as well as shelters and jobs.

 

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