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Aid flowing into typhoon zone

Aid workers, heavy equipment and relief supplies have begun flowing into regions devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

Regional military commander Lieutenant General Roy Deveraturda said the "darkest night is over, but it's not yet 100%".

At the main airport in Tacloban, a pay loader was shifting pallets of water and sacks of rice to trucks. On the main road, teams were shifting debris into more lorries to take away.

The November 8 typhoon killed or left missing more than 5,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

The first week of the response was chaotic because airports into the region were damaged and local governance structures shattered.

Military and civilian teams from around the world have arrived to bolster the immediate response by authorities and the communities themselves.

Some shops and petrol stations have begun to reopen in hard-hit towns.

On the ground, there were further signs that battered communities were beginning to shift from survival mode to one of early recovery: markets were beginning to reopen, though with very limited wares, and residents were repairing damaged homes or making temporary shelters out of the remains of their old ones.

President Benigno Aquino III toured the disaster area yesterday and promised to step up aid deliveries.

Mr Aquino, seen as a reformist president who had enjoyed considerable public support, has had to deal with a string of crises over the last year.

His administration has been criticised by some over its apparent failure to strictly enforce evacuation orders ahead of the storm.

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