Power cut hits thousands as winds of up to 190kph lash eastern Philippines.
“At some point we have to declare closure and declare a mass grave over the area”
Senator Richard Gordon, Philippines Red Cross
Senator Richard Gordon, the president of the Philippines Red Cross said the final toll of the disaster may never be known.
|The Red Cross has said more than
1,000 people could have died
Some communities have had to hold mass burials to deal with the scores of unclaimed bodies that were starting to decompose and spread disease.
President Gloria Arroyo has declared a “state of national calamity” and authorised the immediate release of a billion pesos ($20m) to rehabilitate areas affected by the tragedy.
She said in a statement: “All resources of the government will continue to be mobilised without let-up as we pin hope against hope on the search of survivors.
“We need to rise up from this trial and help rebuild devastated communities and lives.”
Marga Ortigas, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in the Philippines, said: “The government says it is doing its best, but there is not enough equipment reaching the area … the aid is just not getting here fast enough.”
Power, communications and water remain out of service across most of the region, hampering relief efforts.
Durian was the fourth typhoon to hit the Philippines in three months and forecasters expect another before the end of the year.