World News

Philippine Red Cross: At Least 1,200 People Killed in Typhoon

The Philippine Red Cross says a super typhoon that plowed through the central Philippines on Friday may have killed more than 1,200 people.

The official death toll released by the Philippine government on Saturday was 138, but President Benigno Aquino said he believes "there will be substantially more casualties."

Philippine Red Cross secretary general Gwendolyn Pang said her organization estimates that at least 1,000 people were killed on Leyte island with another 200 killed on nearby Samar island.

Super Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, slammed into the islands early Friday. It had maximum sustained winds of around 300 kilometers an hour and sent waves up to five meters high crashing through island communities.

Haiyan was one of the most powerful cyclones on record to make landfall anywhere in the world.

A United Nations Disaster Assessment Coordination Team that flew into Leyte's capital of Tacloban said it found "scenes of total devastation." It said roads from the airport to the city of 200,000 people were impassable, leaving helicopters as the only means of travel.



The World Food Program was providing emergency assistance to government agencies that are helping victims.

The U.N. team leader Sebastian Rhodes Stampa said the last time he saw destruction on such a scale was in the aftermath of the December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

Philippine Interior Secretary Mar Roxas also arrived in Tacloban on Saturday and said the devastation was "really horrific ... a great human tragedy." The government helped to evacuate people in the region in the days before the storm, but it appeared that many stayed in their homes.

Some Tacloban residents wept as they recounted losing loved ones. Others appeared dazed. Bodies lay in the streets, covered in sheets and bags. People also began looting stores, looking for food to survive or carrying away household appliances.

Roxas said the Philippine government has deployed security forces to the area to conduct rescue operations, and to try to restore electricity and water.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement saying Washington is "ready to help" the Philippines, a longtime regional ally, as it deals with Haiyan's aftermath.

Typhoon Haiyan weakened after crossing the Philippines but regained some strength as it moved westward over the South China Sea toward Vietnam.

The storm took a northwesterly turn on Saturday, and weather agencies predicted it would come ashore in northern Vietnam on Monday morning local time, just south of the capital, Hanoi. Earlier, it appeared that Haiyan would hit Vietnam's central provinces.

Vietnamese authorities carried out mass evacuations in at least four coastal provinces on Saturday, sending hundreds of thousands of people to shelters.

Haiyan's new projected path also put the southern Chinese island of Hainan at risk of strong winds and heavy rain. The Chinese government issued an alert to local authorities to prepare for flooding and called fishing boats back to port.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs