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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 December, 2004, 01:22 GMT
Arroyo urges unity after storms
A villager cries as the body of a flood victim is recovered in Real
The magnitude of the disaster is still revealing itself
The President of the Philippines, Gloria Arroyo, has urged people to do all they can to help some 170,000 people stricken by severe flooding.

More than 1,000 people are dead or unaccounted for after a series of devastating storms.

Floods waters are receding, but exhausted rescue teams are having to deliver supplies on foot to towns cut off by landslides.

Officials have warned that people are running out of food and medicine.

"We need one great heave to deliver the relief supplies, find the missing, rescue the isolated, feed the hungry and shelter the homeless," Mrs Arroyo said on national television.

Body bags were being flown into the worst-hit towns, as survivors struggled to bury their dead amid fears of possible outbreaks of disease.

Our biggest enemy now is diarrhoea
Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit

Casualty figures are still unconfirmed, but army spokesmen said at least 479 bodies have been recovered in the north-eastern province of Quezon, where hundreds of people are still missing.

Soldiers who reached an isolated village in Dingalan reported finding about 100 dead, Reuters news agency reported.

Manila's civil defence office said at least 30 people were killed by Typhoon Nanmadol as it swept through the north-east on Thursday night.

'State of calamity'

The effects of Nanmadol disrupted rescue efforts to help those hit by a storm on Monday, which triggered landslides and flooding.

Tens of thousands of people had evacuated their homes ahead of the typhoon, which had been billed as the most powerful in recent weeks.

Schools and government offices remained closed on Friday.

International aid agencies have launched an appeal for more than $2m for aid relief.

Man sits on rooftop in Pulilan town, Bulacan province

Oxfam says it is sending a plane with $46,000 worth of supplies, to arrive early next week.

The International Red Cross says around 800,000 Filipinos need help.

The typhoon has now moved into the South China Sea and is headed for Taiwan, but its wind speeds have fallen to 120km/h (75mph) compared to 185km/h (115mph) when it hit the Philippines.

Seven regions on the main island of Luzon have been placed under a "state of calamity", enabling the faster release of relief funds.

The worst-hit areas are around the towns of Real, Infanta and General Nakar, east of the capital Manila.

Ferries and navy vessels are trying to reach the town of Real, which was cut off when bridges and roads were destroyed.

Local television reports have shown crudely made plywood coffins being thrown into water-filled holes and quickly covered in mud.

Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit urged people to bury their dead quickly.

"Our biggest enemy now is diarrhoea, especially in areas where water rand food are contaminated," he said.

Typhoons and storms regularly hit the country, and there has been anger in the local press that the government was not better prepared.

Illegal logging has been blamed for leaving the landscape more prone to storm damage.

In November 1991, a storm on Leyte island led to some 5,000 deaths from flooding.

See the President address the Filipino people

In pictures: Philippines clear up
03 Dec 04 |  In Pictures
Philippines typhoon: Your reaction
03 Dec 04 |  Have Your Say
Race to find Philippine survivors
01 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: The Philippines
15 Sep 04 |  Country profiles

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