Philippines typhoon death toll exceeds 6,000

A girl carries a baby past debris in the Philippine city of Tacloban, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. (Noel Celis / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images / December 9, 2013)

Disaster response workers trawling through piles of debris continue to find bodies more than a month after a powerful typhoon swept through the central Philippines, pushing the death toll to more than 6,000, with nearly 1,800 people still unaccounted for, authorities said Friday.

The government’s main disaster response agency said 6,009 people had been confirmed killed in the Nov. 8 storm known internationally as Haiyan and in the Philippines as Yolanda. At least 1,779 remained missing, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in a statement.

The typhoon, one of the most powerful on record to make landfall, devastated coastal areas across a string of islands, reducing entire streets to rubble. More than 1 million homes were damaged or destroyed and nearly 4 million people displaced, according to the latest government count.

Between 20 and 30 bodies are still being recovered each day, Maj. Reynaldo Balido, a spokesman for the disaster response agency, told reporters.

The toll has been especially high on the islands of Leyte and Samar, which were pummeled by massive storm surges.

Authorities in the hardest-hit city of Tacloban passed an ordinance Wednesday prohibiting the construction of homes less than 40 yards from the shoreline, the Philippines News Agency reported. The ordinance is expected to affect more than 7,000 families, who reside or own property within the “no-build zone.”

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