Saturday, November 16, 2013

Philippines: Update--British Foreign Office Reports Several Britons Missing in Typhoon Haiyan

According to AFP, several British nationals are missing following the Typhoon Haiyan which hit the Philippines on November 8, which early reports suggest thousands of lives were lost. 

A Ministry spokesman declined to specify how many Britons were missing, as the numbers are not precise.

COMMENT: In a phone call to his Philippine counterpart, Albert del Rosario, Foreign Secretary William Hague offered his condolences in the wake of the devastating Super Typhoon Haiyan of November 8, and asked for "every possible assistance" to be given to Britons caught up in the disaster, the Ministry said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Saturday announced that Britain was providing a further £30 million ($48 million, 36 million euros) to help the relief effort, in addition to the £23 million already pledged.

A British warship, HMS Daring, is due to arrive at the Philippines' Cebu island on Sunday (November 17) after making its way from Singapore.

Helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious -- the largest ship in the British Navy -- was also due to be deployed, along with a Royal Air Force C-17 transport aircraft.

Authorities in the Philippines have put the official death toll at 3,633, with 1,179 people missing and nearly 12,500 injured.

The UN has put the number of dead at 4,460 and said Saturday that 2.5 million people still "urgently" required food assistance.