The Philippine government has defended its efforts to deliver assistance to victims of Typhoon Haiyan, many of whom have received little or no assistance since the storm struck one week ago.
The response comes as government officials give conflicting estimates of the death toll, which is expected to rise further when the missing are declared dead and remote regions reached.
At least 600,000 people have been displaced, with authorities struggling to meet their immediate needs.
“In a situation like this, nothing is fast enough,” Mar Roxas, Philippine interior secretary, said on Friday in Tacloban city, most of which was destroyed by the storm one week ago.
“The need is massive, the need is immediate, and you can’t reach everyone.”
Given the scale of the disaster, and infrastructure and communications problems, the conflicting figures are not unusual.
The spokesman for the country’s civil defence agency, Major Reynaldo Balido, confirmed early on Friday that the toll had risen to 2,360, hours after the UN issued conflicting reports on how many people had died.
On the ground in Tacloban, authorities handed out a situation report stating that 3,422 people had been killed on Samar and Leyte islands, the two most affected areas.