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As Typhoon Koppu Rages Across The Philippines, Troops And Civilians Scramble To Help Out

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 21/10/2015 Alexandra Ma
ATHENA IMAGE © STR/AFP/Getty Images ATHENA IMAGE

Since Saturday, Typhoon Koppu has wreaked havoc on towns and villages across the Philippines and prompted a massive aid effort by troops, aid agencies and civilian volunteers.

At least 58 people have died so far in the typhoon, known locally as Lando, while at least nine others are missing and 100,000 people have been displaced. The storm has also destroyed crops, infrastructure and homes, causing damage worth some 6.57 billion Philippine pesos ($141 million), Reuters reported.

As of Wednesday, Koppu has shown signs of weakening and is expected to head north toward Japan, according to Reuters.

On Monday, the United Nations Children's Fund asked for $2.8 million to help young people living near disaster-stricken areas. "In any event of disasters, children are the most vulnerable," the agency wrote in a blog post.

UNICEF said it had gathered supplies -- including water purification tablets, hygiene kits, medicine, school supplies, food, tents and generators -- for 12,000 families.

On Wednesday, the Catholic church also announced plans to allocate 13.21 million Philippine pesos ($284,000) to provide 25,000 people in typhoon-affected areas with items like ready-to-eat food, water, hygiene kits, blankets and sleeping mats, the government's Philippines News Agency said.

The Philippine army also sent its 7th and 5th Infantry Divisions to affected provinces early on Sunday to distribute relief goods and help transport evacuees, according to the army's Facebook page. 

In photos taken around the country, troops and civilian volunteers can be seen delivering relief supplies via military plane and rubber boats.

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