Manila: The death toll in typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines last week has risen to 2,275, Eduardo del Rosario, the executive director of National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Wednesday.
Del Rosario told a press briefing that 3,665 people were injured and 80 others were still missing, according to Xinhua.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said Tuesday that the projected number of the dead from the typhoon is 2,000 to 2,500, lowering an earlier estimate by a local police official that the death toll might top 10,000 in Tacloban City alone.
Asked if the number of casualties would surpass the president’s estimate, del Rosario said: “We do not like to speculate. It’s better if it will not increase. Let us not speculate.”
Del Rosario explained that the high number of casualties was due to a storm surge caused by Haiyan.
“As they said, it’s like a mini tsunami-like storm surge,” he said.
“You may be wondering why many died, it reached thousands. We saw the destruction that happened on the ground,” said del Rosario, adding that Tacloban City airport was submerged under two to four metres of water.
He also disputed speculations that the government did not prepare for the typhoon, saying local government units put into effect preemptive evacuations before Haiyan made landfall in this southeast Asian nation Nov 8.