China extends sympathy to ‘Vinta’ victims

MANILA — As the death toll of the deadly typhoon “Vinta” climbs to more than 100, the Chinese government on Tuesday extended its sympathy to Filipinos.

In a statement sent to the media, Chinese Embassy in Manila said Foreign Minister Wang Yi sent a message to Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano over the losses caused by Vinta.

“Tropical storm Vinta recently hit the Philippines and caused severe casualties and property losses, making a lot of people displaced,” Wang said.

“I would like to hereby extend my heartfelt sympathy to Your Honorable on the tragic disaster,” he said.

“I am convinced that, under the leadership of the Philippine government, the people of the affected areas are bound to overcome the disaster and restore their normal livelihoods at the earliest date,” he added.

The last few days saw Pope Francis, governments of Canada, Australia, and the United States offering prayers to the affected residents of Mindanao and extended condolences to the bereaved.

Meanwhile, expressing readiness to assist the government were the United Nations, the European Union, and the Japanese government.

At present, there is no announced call for assistance yet nor word of recommendation from the Department of Foreign Affairs to accept donations, a protocol before foreign government aid can enter the country.

As per the situational report of National Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) dated December 26, about 164 persons were reported dead, 65 of which are from Region 9 and 24 from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Meanwhile, at least 176 persons were recorded missing, 170 are for validation and six confirmed.

Citing the Department of Social Welfare and Development, NDRRMC said there are 90,987 persons currently being served in 246 evacuation centers and at least 61,172 persons outside the evacuation center. Joyce Ann Rocamora/PNA