Philippine president visits typhoon region; victims attend Mass

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Associated Press

Posted on November 17, 2013 at 5:01 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 17 at 6:04 AM

TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Benigno Aquino (beh-NEEG'-noh ah-KEEN'-oh) III, made his way to the region of his country devastated by a recent typhoon that killed more than 3,500 people.

Aquino, who has faced a succession of crises over the last year, visited the two hardest-hit islands, Leyte (LAY'-tay) and Samar. He's facing criticism in some quarters over the administration's preparation and response to the disaster.

Tacloban, a city of 220,000 people, was largely leveled.

Meanwhile, thousands of Filipinos took time out from their struggles to pray today, some for help and others in mourning of lost loved ones. The Philippines is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic and Sunday Mass went on despite the massive destruction.

While food, water and shelter, along with medical teams, are now flowing quickly into the region, there is still tremendous need. Reconstructing the region will be a challenge, requiring millions of dollars in assistance.

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%@AP Links

212-a-12-(Cecil LaGuardia (seh-SEEL' luh-GWAHR'-dee-uh), relief worker, World Vision, in AP interview)-"six liter water"-World Vision relief worker Cecil LaGuardia says her current assignment is to distribute food kits to devastated families. (16 Nov 2013)

<<CUT *212 (11/16/13)££ 00:12 "six liter water"

213-a-09-(Cecil LaGuardia (seh-SEEL' luh-GWAHR'-dee-uh), relief worker, World Vision, in AP interview)-"me, it's heartbreaking"-World Vision relief worker Cecil LaGuardia says she thinks the government did its best to evacuate people ahead of the typhoon, but for many poor people, there was nowhere to go. (16 Nov 2013)

<<CUT *213 (11/16/13)££ 00:09 "me, it's heartbreaking"

211-a-09-(Cecil LaGuardia (seh-SEEL' luh-GWAHR'-dee-uh), relief worker, World Vision, in AP interview)-"and power lines"-World Vision relief worker Cecil LaGuardia says it's difficult getting around, with roads still impassable, and power lines down everywhere. (16 Nov 2013)

<<CUT *211 (11/16/13)££ 00:09 "and power lines"

156-a-12-(Father Thomas Onoda (oh-NOH'-dah), Filipino priest, in AP interview)-"compassion and support"-Father Thomas Onoda says he offered what he could to evacuees who arrived in Manila on an American C-130 transport plane. (16 Nov 2013)

<<CUT *156 (11/16/13)££ 00:12 "compassion and support"

158-r-05-(Sound of church bell tolling, as evacuees join regular churchgoers for services)--Sound of the toll of a church bell as evacuees join regular churchgoers for services. (16 Nov 2013)

<<CUT *158 (11/16/13)££ 00:05

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