By Andrew R.C. Marshall and Manuel Mogato
Reuters Nov 12, 2013
TACLOBAN, Philippines (Reuters) – The death toll from Typhoon Haiyan’s rampage through the Philippines is closer to 2,000 or 2,500 than the 10,000 previously estimated, President Benigno Aquino said on Tuesday as U.S. and British warships headed toward his nation to help with relief efforts.
“Ten thousand, I think, is too much,” Aquino told CNN in an interview. “There was emotional drama involved with that particular estimate.”
Aquino said the government was still gathering information from various storm-struck areas and the death toll may rise.
“We’re hoping to be able to contact something like 29 municipalities left wherein we still have to establish their numbers, especially for the missing, but so far 2,000, about 2,500, is the number we are working on as far as deaths are concerned,” he said.
The official death toll stood at 1,774 on Tuesday.
Philippine officials have been overwhelmed by Haiyan, one of the strongest typhoons on record, which tore through the central Philippines on Friday and flattened Tacloban, coastal capital of Leyte province where officials had feared 10,000 people died, many drowning in a tsunami-like wall of seawater.
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