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Dharamsala, India: - The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has expressed his sadness and concern over the recent flooding in the Philippines that killed more than a thousand people and destroyed nearly 30,000 houses.

"In a letter to the President of the Philippines, His Excellency Benigno Aquino III, His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his sadness and concern about the loss of lives and damage to property caused by the recent unprecedented flash floods on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.

His Holiness offered his condolences to the families that have lost loved ones and prayers for the deceased and others affected by the devastating floods."

"As a token of sympathy and concern, a donation is made from The Dalai Lama Trust to support the relief work," according to the official website of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
More than 1000 people remain missing in the region after devastating floods that have already killed at least 1000 others. The latest toll stood at 1079 missing and 1080 dead, the government announced today.

The United Nations (UN) on Thursday, December 22 appealed for aid for victims of floods, likening the devastation to that of a tsunami. The UN, which launched a $US28.6 million aid appeal on Thursday, likened the disaster to that of a tsunami.

According to media reports, the maritime search could continue for two more weeks, but warned that many bodies may have sunk underwater and would never be found. "The main priority was finding permanent shelter for the 309,000 people displaced by the floods, particularly more than 43,000 housed in cramped evacuation centres," an official told reporters.

Health officials have warned of the risk of epidemics breaking out at the camps, which remain without proper water supply and sanitation. Nearly 30,000 houses were destroyed and damaged. The two cities are home to nearly a million people. Another 266,000 are being assisted outside temporary shelters.

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