17 Nov 2013

Typhoon Haiyan seen as a warning to mankind

12:18 pm on 17 November 2013

UN leader Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday Typhoon Haiyan was an example of climate change that should serve as a warning to mankind.

He was speaking at the Tallin University in Estonia on a tour of several Baltic states before joining climate talks in Poland.

Mr Ban said the world was facing a tipping point:

"There are a lot of people on Earth who seem to believe we have two Earths," he said.

"We have seen now what has happened in the Philippines. It is an urgent warning," he said, "an example of changed weather and how climate change is affecting all of us on Earth.

"We need action before it is too late," said Mr Ban.

The UN reports 4460 people have been confirmed dead so far in the Philippines and 2.5 million people require assistance since Typhoon Haiyan hit on 8 November.

More aid from UK

The British government is to give an extra £30m in emergency aid. Britain's assistance following Typhoon Haiyan already stands at £50 million.

At the Sri Lanka Commonwealth summit, Prime Minister David Cameron said the scale of the disaster was "becoming clearer every day".

He said another RAF C-130 Hercules aircraft would also be sent to help.

The BBC reports an RAF C-17 aircraft is already in the Philippines. Its cargo included two diggers, two Land Rovers and a forklift truck, as well as medical supplies.

HMS Daring, a Royal Navy destroyer, has been sent from manoeuvres near Singapore. The BBC reports it is due to be relieved by HMS Illustrious, an aircraft carrier which is expected to arrive by 25 November from the Gulf.

A team of 12 medical experts requested by the Department of Health is in the capital, Manila.

Mr Cameron also praised the generosity of the British people, who have so far donated £33 million to an appeal by 14 aid agencies.

US aid

US Navy helicopters have been dropping food, water and other supplies from the USS George Washington, an aircraft carrier which arrived off the coast on Thursday.

The carrier is also expanding search and rescue operations. The BBC reports the US military is to send about 1000 more troops and additional ships and aircraft

Philippine Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman acknowledged in a radio interview that the national relief response had been too slow to reach many areas.

"We will double our efforts to distribute relief goods because we've been hearing complaints that a lot of people have yet to receive relief goods," she said.