Several Britons missing after Philippines typhoon

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 16 2013 11:26 PM | Updated as of Nov 18 2013 12:37 AM

LONDON (UPDATE) - Several British nationals are missing following the typhoon that has killed thousands in the Philippines, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Saturday.

"The foreign secretary confirmed that a number of British nationals remained unaccounted for," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

A ministry spokesman declined to specify how many Britons were missing.

In a phone call to his Philippine counterpart Albert del Rosario, Hague offered his condolences in the wake of the devastating Super Typhoon Haiyan of November 8 and asked for "every possible assistance" to be given to Britons caught up in the disaster, the ministry said.

Britain's Channel Four News had on Friday reported that British pharmacist Colin Bembridge, 61, had gone missing with his Filipino partner Maybelle and their three-year-old daughter while visiting relatives near the now-devastated city of Tacloban.

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Saturday announced that Britain was providing a further £30 million ($48 million, 36 million euros) to help the relief effort, in addition to the £23 million already pledged.

A British warship, HMS Daring, is due to arrive at the Philippines' Cebu island on Sunday after making its way from Singapore.

Helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious -- the largest ship in the British navy -- was also due to be deployed along with a Royal Air Force C-17 transport aircraft.

Authorities in the Philippines have put the official death toll at 3,633, with 1,179 people missing and nearly 12,500 injured.

The UN has put the number of dead at 4,460 and said Saturday that 2.5 million people still "urgently" required food assistance.