Pace of relief picks up as Philippine government defends typhoon response

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Associated Press

Posted on November 15, 2013 at 12:30 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 15 at 12:33 AM

TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) — The pace of aid efforts in the Phillipines typhoon disaster zone has picked up over the last 24 hours.

Foreign governments are dispatching food, water, medical supplies and trained staff to the region. Trucks and generators are also arriving.

The Philippine government is defending its relief effort, following complaints from survivors that's it's taken the better part of a week for aid to start flowing. The interior secretary says the need is massive and immediate, and "you can't reach everyone."

Meanwhile, government officials continue to provide differing death tolls. The country's civil defense agency says the confirmed figure has risen to 2,360. But on the ground in hard-hit city of Tacloban (tahk-LOH'-bahn), officials handed out a situation report stating that 3,422 people had been killed in the two most affected areas, Samar and Leyte (LAY'-tay) islands

Given the scale of the disaster, and infrastructure and communications problems, the varying reports are not unusual. Some officials estimate that the final toll, when the missing are declared dead and remote regions reached, will be more than 10,000.

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APPHOTO XWM108: Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan wait to board a military C-130 flight as the sun rises at the airport Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 in Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, hit the country's eastern seaboard Nov. 8, leaving a wide swath of destruction. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E) (15 Nov 2013)

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APPHOTO XWM107: Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan sleep on the tarmac, where they have been waiting to be evacuated for days, early Friday morning, Nov. 15, 2013 in Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, hit the country's eastern seaboard Nov. 8, leaving a wide swath of destruction. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E) (15 Nov 2013)

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APPHOTO NY114: In this Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, photo provided by the Navy Media Content Service (NMCS), Naval Aircrewman 2nd Class Justin Peach, from Riverside, Calif., prepares to drop supplies from an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter into Tacloban in support of Operation Damayan. The George Washington Carrier Strike Group and the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade are assisting the Philippine government in response to the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Republic of the Philippines. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, NMCS 3rd Class Ricardo R. Guzman) (14 Nov 2013)

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APPHOTO NY116: In this Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, photo provided by the Navy Media Content Service (NMCS), An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter drops supplies onto Tacloban Air Base in support of Operation Damayan. The George Washington Carrier Strike Group and the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade are assisting the Philippine government in response to the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. (AP Photo/NMCS 3rd Class Ricardo R. Guzman) (14 Nov 2013)

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APPHOTO NY116: In this Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, photo provided by the Navy Media Content Service (NMCS), Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Eric Chiarito, left, from Hyde Park, N.Y., and Marine Sgt. Jonathan Thornton, from Lake Havasu, Ariz., load supplies onto a forklift at Tacloban Air Base in support of Operation Damayan. The George Washington Carrier Strike Group and the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade are assisting the Philippine government in response to the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan in the Republic of the Philippines. (AP Photo/NMCS 3rd Class Ricardo R. Guzman) (14 Nov 2013)

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APPHOTO XWM106: A young boy, a survivor of Typhoon Haiyan covers his ears as military C-130 aircraft land at the airport in Tacloban, Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 in Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced by Typhoon Haiyan, which tore across several islands in the eastern Philippines on Nov. 8. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E) (15 Nov 2013)

<<APPHOTO XWM106 (11/15/13)££

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