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Donations pour into Philippines in wake of deadly storm

A boy holds a placard on a street in Cagayan de Oro on December 24, 2011.

Story highlights

  • Foreign aid has reached $12.6 million
  • 19 nations across the world have made or pledged donations
  • 1,257 people died in the storm
  • Tropical storm Sendong struck the weekend of December 17

Foreign aid to the Philippines in the wake of a deadly tropical storm has reached $12.6 million, the Philippine government announced Thursday.

The United States, Australia and China were the top donors, giving cash and in-kind donations and pledges in the wake of the storm, which struck the weekend of Dec. 17.

Sixteen other nations from Asia, the Middle East, and Europe also made donations or pledges, the government said.

The death toll from Tropical Storm Washi, known locally as Sendong, reached 1,257 on Thursday -- largely unchanged from earlier in the week. Nearly 40,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, the government-run Philippines News Agency reported.

The northern part of Mindanao, the main island in the southern Philippines, was hit the hardest. It was the scene of the worst devastation, and rain that followed the storm complicated recovery efforts.

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Sendong caused the Cagayan, Agus and Madulong rivers to overflow their banks, drowning many people in their sleep, the PNA reported.

    It sent torrents of water, mud, and logs through villages and two major cities, Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.

    More than 60,000 people are now taking shelter in 53 evacuation centers and another nearly 310,000 people are staying with relatives or in makeshift structures, PNA reported.

    Weather conditions were mostly dry by Friday morning in Mindanao.