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Iranian Speaker Condoles Filipino Counterparts over recent Typhoon Victims

TEHRAN, Nov. 16, 2013(FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani extended his condolences to the Filipino nation on the death of their beloved ones in the recent devastating typhoon.

In separate messages of condolence to his counterparts in the Philippines House of Representatives and Senate, the Iranian top parliamentarian expressed deep sorrow over the death of a large number of people in recent super typhoon Haiyan.

In his messages, Larijani also expressed sympathy of the Iranian lawmakers for the Filipino government and nation, and wished rapid recovery for those injured in the incident.

He also extended his condolences to the bereaved families of the victims of the devastating Haiyan.

On Thursday, the United Nations nearly doubled the death toll from the devastating typhoon that struck the Philippines to over 4,400 people - a substantial rise from an earlier estimate of 2,357.

Typhoon Haiyan has also displaced more than 900,000 people, with the city of Tacloban expected to run out of fuel within a few days. Almost 12 million people have been affected by the storm, which is thought to be one of the most powerful to ever strike land, UN said.

These numbers are in stark contrast to the death toll of 2,000 to 2,500 which was forecast by Filipino President Benigno Aquino earlier this week, but still less than the 10,000 deaths initially estimated by local authorities.

"Tens of thousands of people are living in the open or sheltering in the remains of their homes and badly damaged public buildings, exposed to rain and wind. Many have lost beloved ones and are traumatized by their experience. Our focus is now on scaling up our efforts," Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said at a press conference in the capital, Manila.

"As of 13 November, the government reported that 4,460 people have died," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in its situation report issued on November 14.

Making matters worse are the logistical challenges that come with delivering aid to the region. Airports are slowly reopening, yet much of the area is not expected to have power and electricity restored for some time. Roads are impassable because of the debris, and fuel shortages are rampant.

"Today and in the next few days things will get even better as our capacity increases," Amos said. "We know that much more is required."



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