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UN official concerned over Philippine storm death toll


15:20, December 21, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser on Tuesday expressed "deep concern" over the death of nearly 1,000 people in the Philippines hit by Tropic Storm Washi.

"The president of the General Assembly commends the authorities and everyone involved for their valiant efforts in assisting all those affected by this tragedy and takes note of the declaration of a 'national calamity' by the government of the Philippines," said a statement released by Al-Nasser's spokesperson.

In the statement, Al-Nasser urged "all member states and the international community to continue to increase assistance to the thousands of victims and communities affected by this tragedy."

The Philippines suffered heavy loss of lives and damage in the flooding caused by tropical storm Washi that struck its southern region on Saturday. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that most of the casualties were from the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte.

More than 60,000 families in southern Philippines have been displaced by floods and landslides. This is one of the worst calamities that hit the region for the past few years.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has placed the cities of Cagayan de Oro in Misamis Oriental and Iligan in Lanao del Norte under state of calamity. The social welfare department and local government officials sent 8.2 million pesos (186,533 U.S. dollars) worth of relief supplies to help families affected by the typhoon.

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