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Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 08:04
Haiyan survivors beg for water, aid
By Agencies in Tacloban, Philippines

Haiyan survivors beg for water, aid
This aerial photo shows destroyed houses in the town of Guiuan in Eastern Samar province, central Philippines, on Monday, four days after devastating Typhoon Haiyan hit the country. (Ted Aljibe / Agence France-Presse)

Typhoon affects nearly 2 million in Philippines

Dazed survivors of a super typhoon that swept through the central Philippines killing an estimated 10,000 people begged for help and scavenged for food, water and medicine on Monday, threatening to overwhelm military and rescue resources.

As President Benigno Aquino deployed hundreds of soldiers in the coastal city of Tacloban to quell looting, reports from one town showed apocalyptic scenes of destruction in another region that has not been reached by rescue workers or the armed forces.

The government has not confirmed officials’ estimates over the weekend of 10,000 deaths but the toll from Haiyan, one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded, is clearly far higher than the current official count of 255. The Armed Forces in the central Philippines on Monday reported a death toll of 942.

“The situation is bad, the devastation has been significant. In some cases the devastation has been total,” Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras told a news conference.

The United Nations said officials in Tacloban, which bore the brunt of the storm on Friday, had reported one mass grave of 300-500 bodies.

More than 600,000 people were displaced by the storm across the country and some have no access to food, water, or medicine, the UN said.

Authorities said at least 2 million people in 41 provinces had been affected by Friday’s disaster and at least 23,000 houses had been damaged or destroyed. Large areas along the coast had been transformed into twisted piles of debris, blocking roads and trapping decomposing bodies underneath. Ships were tossed inland, cars and trucks swept out to sea and bridges and ports washed away.

Flattened by surging waves and monster winds up to 378 kilometers per hour, Tacloban, 580 km southeast of Manila, was relying almost entirely for supplies and evacuation on just three military transport planes flying from nearby Cebu.

Dozens of residents clamored for help at the airport gates.

“Help us, help us. Where is President Aquino? We need water, we are very thirsty,” shouted one woman. “When are you going to get bodies from the streets?”

Haiyan is estimated to have destroyed about 70 to 80 percent of structures in its path as it tore into the coastal provinces of Leyte and Samar. The damage to the coconut- and rice-growing region was expected to amount to more than 3 billion pesos ($69 million), Citi Research said in a report, with “massive losses” for private property.

Most of the damage and deaths were caused by huge waves that inundated towns and swept away coastal villages in scenes that officials likened to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Bodies litter the streets of the Tacloban, rotting and swelling under the hot sun and adding to the health risk.

Reuters—AP

 

 
 
 
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