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Last Updated: Friday, 3 December, 2004, 19:50 GMT
Oxfam in Philippines aid flight
Aerial photo of the flooded Quezon region, near Manila
The plane leaves Heathrow on Saturday at 2200 GMT
International aid agency Oxfam is flying emergency supplies to the Philippines on Saturday after two powerful storms hit the country.

Typhoon Nanmadol struck on Thursday and after a storm on Monday more than 1,000 people are dead or unaccounted for.

The aid plane, which was loaded at London Heathrow is carrying water plus sanitation equipment worth 24,000.

Ivan Scott, of Oxfam, said: "This vital equipment will provide a lifeline for many thousands of people."

The equipment being sent by Oxfam includes pipes, tanks, latrine plates, fittings and buckets.

Rescue efforts

Mr Scott, the aid agency's acting humanitarian director, added: "Oxfam is working to assist the most vulnerable people in the worst affected areas as fast as possible."

Manila's civil defence office said Typhoon Nanmadol, which hit the north-east coast of the Philippines, claimed the lives of at least 30 people.

But the storm caused less damage than initially feared.

Tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes prior to the storm.

But the effects of Nanmadol hindered rescue efforts to help those affected by Typhoon Yoyong on Monday, which triggered landslides and widespread flooding.

The Oxfam flight will arrive in Bahrain on 6 December and is due to arrive in Manila the following day.

Disease fears

A spokeswoman for the aid agency said: "Oxfam teams are carrying out an assessment of needs on the ground and an engineer will be travelling out from Oxford to Manila next week."

She said the results of assessments being carried out would determine whether there would be further aid deployments.

In the aftermath of the storms, people have been urged by officials to bury their dead quickly.

In some areas a shortage of coffins and lime has prevented burial of the dead.

Such problems have led to fears of disease spreading among survivors.

Typhoons and storms regularly hit the Philippines and there has been widespread anger in the country's press that the government was not better prepared.

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




SEE ALSO:
Philippines clears up after storm
03 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
In pictures: Philippines clear-up
03 Dec 04 |  In Pictures
Race to find Philippine survivors
01 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: The Philippines
15 Sep 04 |  Country profiles


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