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Aid charities in bid for help to Philippines victims

Aid charities urge the public to donate to typhoon victims

An international aid operation is under way to get food, water and shelter to victims of the devastating Philippines typhoon.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), made up of 14 British aid charities, has urged the public to donate as much as they can to an appeal.

Hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed by the typhoon which hit the south-east Asian nation four days ago, with the death toll expected to rise to more than 10,000.

DEC said roads are impassable, bridges destroyed and airports out of action, severely hampering relief efforts.

In Tacloban City on the east coast the destruction is reminiscent of the Boxing Day tsunami nine years ago, it said.

"There is a staggering number of people who need our help at the moment," DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said.

"The priority at the moment is reaching those in remote areas. We are obviously seeing pictures of people who have already been reached and those images that are before us are really staggering.

"But we also have to think of those in remote islands, in remote villages, where we are unable to see what their conditions are."

It is estimated that more than 10 million people need aid.

Aid organisations warned they were being hampered by widespread devastation as Save the Children said it was helping survivors who were having to cope with the "worst possible conditions."

Save the Children's Lynette Lim said: "We are working round the clock to offer the basic life essentials to the 4.3 million people we estimate are affected.

"We are witnessing the complete devastation of a city. In Tacloban everything is flattened. Bodies litter the street, many, many of which are children. From what I saw, two out of every five bodies was that of a child."

The government is deploying a warship and donating £10 million in humanitarian assistance. It will also deploy RAF military transport aircraft, earmarking at least one C-17 cargo plane to transport aid and large equipment.

Australia, Japan, the United States and the European Commission have also offered aid.

To donate to the DEC Philippines Crisis Appeal, visit, call (0370) 606-0900, donate at any high street bank or post office, send a cheque or donate £5 by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000.


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