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China sends 20,000 food packages to Odette-hit areas

China on Tuesday announced that is sending 20,000 food packages worth P8 million to those affected by Typhoon Odette.

Each package, which contains five kilograms of rice, 10 canned food and 10 noodles packs, are on their way to Cebu, Leyte, Negros Occidental, Bohol, Cagayan de Oro City, Surigao City, and Negros Oriental, the Chinese embassy said.

"Our hearts go out to all the Filipino families who were devastated by Typhoon Odette which has caused massive casualties as well as property loss," it said in a statement.

"China will do its utmost to continue its firm support to the disaster relief efforts of the Philippine government and the Filipino people."

An additional 4.725 million kilograms of Chinese government-donated rice will also be sent to typhoon-devastated areas.

About 1.5 million kilograms were allocated for Cebu, while the 3.225 million kilograms in Manila will be transported to other affected areas in Visayas and Mindanao.

A total 156 people were reported dead, 37 were missing, and 275 were injured due to the onslaught of Typhoon Odette - the strongest to hit the Philippines this year- the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Tuesday.

Philippine officials fear the death toll could still increase in the coming days.

Odette, known internationally as Typhoon Rai, packed sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour with gusts of up to 270 kph, leaving a trail of destruction in Central Visayas and parts of Mindanao last week.

Despite ongoing clean up and repairs, several areas remained out of reach due to lack of power supply and downed communications.

Apart from China, several countries, like the United States, France and Australia, have already pledged assistance to the Philippine government's disaster relief operations. — VBL, GMA News