News / Asia

    UN Launches Appeal for Typhoon-ravaged Philippines

    International Relief Efforts Picking up in Typhoon-Hit Philippinesi
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    November 12, 2013 9:45 AM
    A U.S. aircraft carrier headed to the Philippines Tuesday as part of efforts to accelerate aid to typhoon-ravaged areas of the country, where 10,000 people are feared dead and many more displaced.
    International Relief Efforts Picking up in Typhoon-Hit Philippines
    Simone Orendain
    International humanitarian officials are grappling with the challenges of trying to get help into typhoon-ravaged central Philippines while people on the ground grow more desperate for food, clean water and medicine. The United Nations is appealing for $301 million, saying the greatest needs are food, water, shelter, medicine and clearing up debris.

    As many as 10,000 people are feared dead.  But President Benigno Aquino was quoted on CNN as saying the initial death projection was "too much," and that the final accounting would more likely be around 2,000 to 2,500.
     
    Super Typhoon Haiyan

    • 10,000 people feared dead
    • At least 9.8 million people affected
    • About 660,000 people displaced
    • 394,494 people are in evacuation centers
    • 1,316 evacuation centers have been established

    Source: UN
    In Manila Tuesday, U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos said the magnitude of this crisis is “at the very top” of the U.N.’s scale for measuring the impact of emergencies.
     
    “It’s been extremely difficult even to get a sense of what the immediate needs are because it’s been very difficult to get to some of the areas affected," Amos said.
     
    Electricity in some provinces remains completely out. In others it is only partially restored. Communications links are slowly improving but many are still trying to reach loved ones on the phones.
     
    • People line up to be evacuated outside Tacloban airport, central Philippines, Nov. 13, 2013.
    • A survivor wipes his face under a Philippines national flag in Tacloban, central Philippines, Nov. 13, 2013.
    • Members of a Philippines rescue team carry corpses in body bags as they search for the dead in Tacloban, central Philippines, Nov. 13, 2013.
    • A rescue team wades into flood waters to retrieve a body in Tacloban, central Phillipines, Nov. 13, 2013.
    • Typhoon survivors hang signs from their necks as they line up to try to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban, Nov. 12, 2013.
    • Typhoon survivors jostle to get a chance to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban, Nov. 12, 2013.
    • A Philippine air force officer hands out orange slices to typhoon survivors as they line up to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban city, Nov. 12, 2013.
    • Tacloban residents wait for military flights inside the terminal of Tacloban airport, Nov. 12, 2013.
    • Typhoon survivors rush to get a chance to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines, Nov. 12, 2013.
    • Survivors walk in typhoon ravaged Tacloban city, Nov. 12, 2013.
    • An aerial view of the ruins of houses after the devastation of super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban city in central Philippines, Nov. 11, 2013.
    • Survivors carry bags of rice from a warehouse they stormed to get food after the typhoon, Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines, Nov. 11, 2013.

    As aid groups struggle to deliver food, water and medicine to the some 600,000 people displaced by the crisis, reports from areas in the disaster zone say the situation is getting desperate.
     
    Deadliest Storms Since 1900

    • Cyclone Bhola killed at least 300,000 in what is now Bangladesh in 1970
    • Super Typhoon Nina killed at least 171,000 in China in 1975
    • Cyclone Gorky killed 138,866 in Bangladesh in 1991
    • Cyclone Nargis killed 138,366 in Burma in 2008
    • Cyclone Swatow killed 100,000 in China in 1922

    Source: CRED, Weather Underground, Reuters
    There have been reports of aid trucks being stopped before they can get to their designated locations, grocery stores and malls have been looted. On Tuesday, a mob of about 3,000 people broke through the fence of the airport in Tacloban to meet a military plane delivering provisions.
     
    The U.N. appeal is for its action plan which includes 15 projects that support the government’s civil defense, health and social services.
     
    The other challenge of trying to give aid has been coordination among those doing the giving.
     
    The U.N. is urging aid agencies to go through a logistics briefing once they arrive at the airport in Tacloban, one of the hardest hit cities. The interior minister told a local news outlet people arriving at the airport and wanting to bring aid have at times ended up waiting to find out where and how they can help.
     
    More than two dozen governments have offered support in the form of funding, humanitarian aid as well as military assets. Philippines presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the support of the international community has been tremendous.

    “Certainly it gives us comfort that we are not alone in this fight- in rehabilitating in the affected areas and in providing relief goods. Therefore we are very thankful for the countries who have pledged assistance to us,” he said.
     
    Aid agencies say efforts are “scaling up” as scores of countries pledge money, resources and personnel to help deal with the crisis.  But getting the aid to those who need it most remains the biggest hurdle.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Tonya from: KY
    November 13, 2013 7:51 AM
    I feel we are all in this world to love one another and when a disaster happens,just be there for all who need help and are suffering. I know I will be donating (not money), and maybe others wil find it in their hearts to do the same. "Help anyone who is in need"

    by: Gregory A. Peterson from: Raleigh, NC
    November 12, 2013 4:30 PM
    its a storm and yes it was a storm, I don't remember the international emergency being sounded for Katrina... if I remember correctly Americans were left on their own....I do vaguely remember Fidel Castro offering Cuba's help and George W. Bush turned it down...
    In Response

    by: Ed Atkins from: San Diego
    November 13, 2013 1:02 PM
    So Gregory, if I may paraphrase what you avoided saying (I'll give you the spine you lack)... What you wanted to say is that "America, do not help". That's what you wanted to say, right? Just checking.
    In Response

    by: Mike Lontoc from: NJ
    November 12, 2013 10:42 PM
    Your memory is short then. Many countries offered financial aid, personnel and emergency supplies after Katrina. We were not left on our own.

    by: Varney Samukai from: Monrovia, Liberia
    November 12, 2013 4:05 PM
    I am saying sorry to the people of that country and I pray that God almighty deliever them through their hardship. the world have to do something about this.

    by: Thomas Hood from: NC
    November 12, 2013 3:22 PM
    Do not give money to the UN. The UN is notorious for mismanaging relief efforts.

    by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Canada
    November 12, 2013 2:43 PM
    It might have been a big typhoon but it wasn't the killer the news media made it out to be -- the sensationalizing media that fewer and fewer people trust anymore.

    Certainly the Philippines need help right now to fix things that broke, but a bigger problem is the corruption of the government that will see much of the aid sent in siphoned off by the bad guys.

    Furthermore, the 2,500 dead the government said were killed, is a lot less than the almost 140,000 people killed by individual whopper storms in Bangladesh and in Burma over the past couple of decades, but which didn't get much Western media coverage because the dead and maimed were not Christians and were darker skinned than the people of the Philippines where American troops are stationed . The media, basically, is inaccurate, ugly and racist.

    by: Glowingblue from: Portland Oregon
    November 12, 2013 2:41 PM
    That's interesting. Japan just announced it needs to borrow 30 BILLION to contain Fukushima Diiachi (which will never be contains, by the way)

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