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Typhoon death toll passes 6,000

The death toll from Typhoon Haiyan in the central Philippines has breached 6,000, with nearly 1,800 people still missing, officials said.

The government's disaster response agency said 6,009 have been confirmed dead while 1,779 remain unaccounted for.

The November 8 typhoon is the deadliest natural disaster on record to hit the Philippines.

Major Reynaldo Balido, spokesman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said at least 20 bodies are still being found daily under debris in the hardest hit city of Tacloban.

The homes of more than 16 million people were either flattened or damaged, and officials say rebuilding will take at least three years.

Twenty-seven bodies, all unidentified, were among the latest to be recovered under debris in typhoon-stricken coastal areas including Tacloban.

Identifying bodies in an advanced stage of decomposition and matching them with the missing is a difficult process and the reason why the number of the missing remains unchanged, Maj Balido said.

Social welfare secretary Corazon Soliman said temporary bunkhouses and emergency shelters were being constructed and residents given cash in exchange for work, including repacking and hauling relief goods.

"We will provide materials to rebuild their houses, however, we stressed to the local governments that new shelters have to be built 40 metres away from the shoreline on high tide," she said.


From Belfast Telegraph