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Rescue efforts continue in Philippines

Gift of the Givers has set aside R2m to distribute relief aid to Typhoon Haiyan victims.

Residents walk through debris as they rush to a rescue helicopter delivering relief foods in Hernani town, Eastern Samar province, central Philippines on 11 November. Picture:AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Rescuers are struggling to get desperately needed aid to areas of the Philippines devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

Aid workers are being held back by blocked roads and damaged airports as they try to deliver tents, food and medicines to the worst-affected areas.

South African aid organisation Gift of the Givers Foundation says it will donate R2 million worth of relief to victims of the typhoon.

The humanitarian group's founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman says, "We have already put out R2 million from our emergency fund to start buying items on the other side. We are looking at airlifting supplies from Dubai into Philippines. We are looking at shipping from both Dubai and South Africa. So aid would come at different times throughout the relief process."

At least 10,000 people are thought to have been killed by the typhoon which has now made landfall in north-eastern Vietnam.

US aid groups also launched a multimillion dollar relief campaign.

An official from one group World Vision said there were early reports that as much as 90 percent of northern Cebu had been destroyed.

An aid team from Oxfam reported "utter destruction" in the northern-most tip of Cebu.

The UN said more than 600,000 people were displaced by the storm across the country and some had no access to food, water and medicine.

Operations were further hampered because roads, airports and bridges had been destroyed or were covered in wreckage.

Threatening to add to the crisis in the impoverished area, another tropical storm carrying heavy rain has been forecast to make landfall in the region as early as Tuesday.

The official death toll is likely to climb rapidly once rescuers reach remote villages along the coast, such as Guiuan, a town in eastern Samar province with a population of 40,000 which was largely destroyed.

Additional reporting by Reuters