Areas of the Philippines devastated by one of the world’s strongest typhoons were hit by more heavy rain Tuesday, as the authorities vowed to step up relief efforts for millions of survivors in need of food and water.

A tropical depression crossed the southern Philippines with maximum winds of 55 km per hour, the weather bureau said.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said the weather pattern had brought heavy rains over Leyte province, one of the regions hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan. Thousands are feared to have been killed in the storm.

Speaking to Manila-based DZMM radio, Roxas said disaster relief teams were redoubling their efforts to hasten the delivery of food, water, medicines and other supplies to millions of people affected.

EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said meanwhile that the European Union would allocate an additional 10 million euros (13.4 million US dollars) in assistance for areas devastated by Haiyan, on top of 3 million euros announced previously.

AP adds:

The government has raised the official death toll from the Philippines typhoon disaster to 1,744 people, with the final number expected to be much higher.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council also said in a statement on Tuesday that 2,487 people had been hurt after Typhoon Haiyan struck the eastern Philippines four days ago.

But both figures are expected to climb drastically, with authorities estimating that the storm killed 10,000 or more across a vast region of the country, and displaced about 660,000 others.

On Thursday, thousands of survivors were swarming airports seeking flights to safer areas.

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