More than 1,400 people are missing or feared dead after three typhoons caused flooding and landslides in the northern island of Luzon, the Missionary News Service reported yesterday. Carlito Santos, the Philippines director of Caritas director, told MISNA that this figure gave a "likely" indication of the scale of the disaster, adding that rescuers are continuing their work to recover the victims. "People are still being pulled out of the mud and collapsed buildings; for example, in Infanta, one of the areas worst affected by the disaster, around 100 residents were buried under collapsed buildings," Santos said, speaking by telephone from Manila. Many people have been left homeless and some news agencies report that hundreds of Filipinos are leaving the eastern areas hit by the storms due to poor humanitarian aid and the fear of epidemics. Santos confirmed that his organisation has already sent tons of rice, field tents and other items to dioceses in the affected areas, which will distribute the aid among the stricken population. "Real and Infanta were the most difficult areas to reach but on Saturday and Sunday the government took action and managed to get aid to those areas too by boat and by helicopter. Now some roads that were blocked have been cleared and the situation is less difficult." Caritas is attempting to deliver antibiotics and painkillers to the scene. the government has already transferred more serious casualties to Manila for treatment. Source: MISNA
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