Koreans lost in Philippines’ chaos rises to 23

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Koreans lost in Philippines’ chaos rises to 23

Some 23 Koreans are unaccounted for in the Philippine city hit hardest by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the largest storms ever recorded, as relief very slowly starts trickling into the area.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said it confirmed 55 Koreans were living in the flattened city of Tacloban, capital of Leyte Province, and it has determined that 32 are safe.

But the situation in Tacloban is so chaotic that pinning down casualties is almost impossible. Ten Koreans had been considered missing in the area on Tuesday.

The ministry said that as communications was starting to be restored, more missing people reports were received. It said that some relief workers, doctors and government officials from Korea and the Korean Embassy in Manila have reached Tacloban.

The official estimate of deaths from the storm is about 2,275 but is expected to rise. A few days ago, 10,000 people were feared dead in the Tacloban area, but Philippine President Benigno Aquino III told CNN yesterday the number would be possibly in the 2,500 range.

After the Korean government pledged $5 million in emergency relief aid Tuesday, Korea continued to offer support to the Philippines. The government said it will send two military aircraft with supplies to Tacloban today.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government yesterday said it plans to donate $200,000 for emergency relief aid through the Philippine Red Cross. Mayor Park Won-soon said, “Seoul prays that the Philippine people can overcome the pain and return to daily life as soon as possible.”

Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors also pledged $300,000 each for emergency relief efforts yesterday.

Asiana Airlines said it is sending emergency supplies from Seoul and Cebu , including 30,000 cups of ramen, 20,000 bottles of water, 12,000 instant rice packs and 1,000 blankets.

BY SARAH KIM [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]
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