The Philippine government has defended its efforts to deliver assistance to victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

Interior secretary Mar Roxas said: “In a situation like this, nothing is fast enough.”

He was speaking in the hard-hit city of Tacloban, most of which was destroyed by the storm one week ago.

Government officials have given different death tolls, both actual and estimated, as a result of the disaster.

The spokesman for the country’s civil defence agency, Major Reynaldo Balido, confirmed early today that the figure had risen to 2,360, hours after the United Nations issued conflicting reports on how many people had died.

Some officials estimate that the final toll, when the missing are declared dead and remote regions reached, will be more than 10,000.

At least 600,000 people have been displaced, many of them homeless.

On the ground in Tacloban, authorities handed out a situation report saying 3,422 people had been killed on Samar and Leyte islands, the two most affected areas.

The pace of the aid effort has picked up over the last 24 hours, according to reporters who have been in the region for several days. Foreign governments are dispatching food, water, medical supplies and trained staff to the region. Trucks and generators are also arriving.

A US aircraft carrier is moored off the coast, preparing for a major relief mission. The fleet of helicopters on board is expected to drop food and water to the worst affected areas.

“The need is massive, the need is immediate, and you can’t reach everyone,” Mr Roxas said.

More in this Section

California school shooting suspect ‘quiet and smart’California school shooting suspect ‘quiet and smart’

Qantas jet lands in Sydney after non-stop flight from LondonQantas jet lands in Sydney after non-stop flight from London

Trump says impeachment probe has been ‘very hard’ on familyTrump says impeachment probe has been ‘very hard’ on family

North Korea calls Joe Biden a ‘rabid dog’ for insulting its dignityNorth Korea calls Joe Biden a ‘rabid dog’ for insulting its dignity


Lifestyle

I’d always promised myself a day off school when Gay Bryne died.Secret diary of an Irish teacher: I’ve been thinking about my students, wondering who their ‘Gay Byrne’ will be

In an industry where women battle ageism and sexism, Meryl Streep has managed to decide her own destiny – and roles, writes Suzanne HarringtonJeepers Streepers: Hollywood royalty, all hail queen Meryl

'Ask Audrey' has been the newspaper's hysterical agony aunt “for ages, like”.Ask Audrey: Guten tag. Vot the f**k is the story with your cycle lanes?

Daphne Wright’s major new exhibition at the Crawford addresses such subjects as ageing and consumerism, writes Colette SheridanFinding inspiration in domestic situations

More From The Irish Examiner