Super Typhoon Haiyan that hit Philippines with a devastating fury on Friday may have left more than 10,000 deaths in its wake while hundreds of thousands of survivors were made homeless, without food and clean water. As local authorities, supported by international aid agencies, began to clear up debris to retrieve dead bodies and carry out relief operations in the worst-hit areas of this Southeast Asian country, there were also reports of some Scandinavian tourists among those who had gone missing in the aftermath of the disaster.
As of Monday, the number of Scandinavians, who were still unaccounted for in the Philippines, was being revised down by embassy officials who had been trying to contact their citizens known to have been in the affected areas. However, several Swedes, Norwegians, Danes and Finns could still not be reached or had not come forward to report themselves to their embassies or consulates.
So far no Scandinavians were found to be among those who had lost their lives although there are a number of those listed as missing persons, according to Scandinavian media outlets.
In Denmark the Foreign Ministry is still waiting to hear from 19 Danes. The actual number of missing Danes could be higher as not all Danes abroad report themselves to embassies or consulates while abroad, said Søren Wøhtz from the Foreign Ministry to Danish Broadcast DR.
According to Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, some 50 Finns were in the areas worst-affected by the storm, and of those only a handful had been contacted so far, reported YLE.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry would not give an estimate on number Swedes that were still unaccounted for.
“We chose not to come out with an estimate because right now all numbers are uncertain. It is a terrible disaster but by now there is nothing to suggest that any Swede had been hurt,” said Maria Parent from the press unit of the Foreign Ministry to newspaper Aftonbladet.
In Norway they also were reluctant to give exact numbers of people missing.
“We are currently making an assessment through our network and channels. It is a challenge because the telecommunication and electricity are not working in those areas,” told Kristin Ensted from the press unit in the Foreign Ministry to Norwegian broadcast NRK on Sunday.
She added that it was impossible to say how many Norwegians were staying in the area hit by the typhoon. Around 300 were registered on the lists of the Norwegian embassies in the region.