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Golfer Jason Day lost eight relatives to Typhoon Haiyan

6:11 AM, Nov 18, 2013   |    comments
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GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA (CBSNews.com) - Jason Day's mother says that eight of the Australian golfer's relatives died in Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, including his grandmother.

Day's mother, Dening, told the Gold Coast Bulletin on Monday that the player's uncle and six cousins also died in the typhoon, which has killed nearly 4,000 people and left more than a thousand missing.

One od Day's aunts was found alive despite being swept to another village, while another aunt's family survived after binding themselves together with rope and taking refuge in an attic, the Bulletin reports.

"I am deeply saddened to confirm that multiple members of my family lost their lives as the victims of Typhoon Haiyan," Day said in a statement released by the PGA Tour. "My family and I are thankful for all who have reached out with their prayers and concern.

"We feel devastated for all who have been affected by this horrific tragedy. While I understand the media's interest in this matter and hope that any coverage can spread awareness to assist with the relief efforts that continue in the Philippines, I hope that all will respect my family's privacy during this difficult time. I will have no further public comments at this time. Please pray for all who have suffered loss. Thank you."

Day is teaming with Adam Scott to represent Australia in the World Cup of Golf, starting Thursday at Royal Melbourne.

Day's mother, who migrated from the Philippines to Australia 30 years ago, told the newspaper "my daughter has been updating him, but I don't want to bother him because he has commitments."

She said many of her family members lived in the area around Tacloban, the capital of hardest-hit Leyte province, where Philippine President Benigno Aquino visited on Sunday.

CBS News correspondent Seth Doane reports Aquino faces harsh criticism that his government has been too slow responding, and the flow of relief to the region has been erratic at best.

At the Tacloban airport Sunday, both U.S. and Philippine troops worked to provide another kind of relief. As aid was shipped out to remote regions, people tried to get out too.

Ryan Eraya told CBS News he's been waiting three days to get out.

Justine Nitura came from Manila to see if her extended family had survived the typhoon. They had - and now she wanted to get out as soon as she could.

"I have seen this place before - I've seen how beautiful this is - but now I can just describe it as a wasteland - which is, you know, sad for us," Nitura said.

The airport here has become a staging ground for tons of relief supplies. But just about a mile down the road, CBS News found a community fending for itself. As dusk fell, a small fish stand was selling-out. Many vendors are now gone, the price of fish has gone up, and it can be hard to find said Alvin Capuvolan. That's why he bought fish while he could - not even caring whether it was fresh.

When asked why he was staying when he can't provide food for his family, Capuvolan said: "Actually, our family - my children, my wife, we are already planning to vacate Tacloban, if there will be no food...For the sake of our children. There's no problem with us - actually I have lost weight for nine days."

He joked about a serious question that CBS News heard often in the storm-ravaged region this weekend: Without the basics, how long can people hold on?

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