UN ready to help storm-hit Philippines

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A woman salvages her belongings in Mindanao

The United Nations says it's ready to support the government of the Philippines in responding to the disaster caused by a storm that has left more than 500 people dead and hundreds of others missing.

According to a senior UN disaster reduction official, one of the lessons that can be learned from the storm is that more needs to be done to strengthen early warning systems in the country.

The official says that Typhoon Sendong was identified two days before flash floods swept through Cagayan de Oro City and Illigan City in the Mindanao region.

Farhan Haq is a spokesman for the UN Secretary-General.

"The Secretary-General is very concerned by the impact of Tropical Storm Washi known locally as ‘Sendong’, which has left at least 508 people killed and hundreds more missing in northern Mindanao, in the Philippines. The Secretary-General expresses his condolences to the families of those affected, to the Government and the people of the Republic of the Philippines. The Secretary-General commends the swift response to the crisis. The United Nations and its partners stand ready to support the Government in responding to this disaster.

 (Duration: 27")

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