News / Asia

In Philippines, Number of Missing After Typhoon Varies Widely

Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan walk over a
Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan walk over a "Help" message painted on a concrete floor, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 in Burauen town, Leyte province, central Philippines.
The Philippines Saturday increased the official death toll from Typhoon Haiyan. It now says 3,633 are listed killed, but that number could rise significantly as rescuers reach more isolated island communities hit by the November 8 storm. Also not clear is just how many people are missing.
 
The government tally shows 1,179 people missing. However, the Philippines Red Cross says it has received 25,000 “tracing requests.”

A spokesman for President Benigno Aquino says the official tallies of dead, injured and missing rely on numbers fed from local governments to provinces and then on to the national authorities.
 
A Filipino man covers his nose from the stench a dead body found at neighborhood badly ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Philippines, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013.A Filipino man covers his nose from the stench a dead body found at neighborhood badly ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Philippines, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013.
x
A Filipino man covers his nose from the stench a dead body found at neighborhood badly ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Philippines, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013.
A Filipino man covers his nose from the stench a dead body found at neighborhood badly ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Philippines, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013.
The Red Cross secretary-general in Manila, Gwendolyn Pang, says her organization’s higher figure includes all those believed lost, missing or otherwise not reachable, and likely has duplicate entries.

President Aquino, who has faced criticism for a perceived delayed and ineffective response to the disaster caused by one of the strongest ever recorded storms on the planet, is to visit Tacloban, in Leyte province, Sunday.

Tacloban is where more people are believed to have died than any other location. But more than a week after Typhoon Haiyan, information is still sketchy from some locations, especially smaller islands.

Philippines Congressman Ben Evardone, after an aerial survey of his district, exclaimed “there is no more Eastern Samar province.” Eighty percent of his constituents rely on coconuts for their livelihood and all of the trees have been uprooted or are gone. Evardone says it will take five to 10 years to replant and he has no idea how the people there will earn money in the meantime.  

Children wait on roadsides hoping to get handouts from passing motorists, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)Children wait on roadsides hoping to get handouts from passing motorists, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
x
Children wait on roadsides hoping to get handouts from passing motorists, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
Children wait on roadsides hoping to get handouts from passing motorists, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
In one city, Daanbantayan at the northern tip of Cebu, which was directly in the path of the typhoon, officials say 100 percent of agriculture was destroyed.

At an ad hoc aid station there, resident Josefa Taneo, predicts the area’s recovery will not be easy.  

“The livelihood of the people here is limited to fishing and small farming so we are not expecting to rebuild this soon," said Taneo. "Maybe this will take time because most of the small house are blown down.”  

While some residents are already trying to rebuild their homes in Cebu and Leyte provinces, bodies remain uncollected in some of the worst-hit area in Leyte.

Officials in both provinces acknowledge increasing numbers of people ill from lack of proper nutrition.
 
As for finding out who is dead or alive, Red Cross Secretary-General Pang tells VOA volunteers are being mobilized for all areas and, likely, beginning Tuesday, they will begin registering survivors.

That effort could be complicated and take significant time, much to the dismay of relatives in other cities and countries anxious for word about the fate of loved ones. U.N. agencies say nearly three million people have been displaced by the disaster and hundreds of thousands of them are on the move.

  • Sailors aboard the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington load containers of water onto an MH-60S Seahawk for the Philippines, Nov. 15. 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • A C-2A Greyhound carrying relief supplies for Operation Damayan prepares to land on the flight deck of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington, Nov. 15, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • Sailors aboard the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington load containers of water onto an MH-60S Seahawk, Nov. 15, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • Sailors aboard the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington load containers of water onto an MH-60S Seahawk, Nov. 15, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • An Aviation Electrician’s Mate directs a MH-60S helicopter from the USNS Charles Drew as it lifts a pallet of diesel en route to the Philippines, Nov. 14. 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • A Naval Aircrewman prepares to drop supplies, Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 14, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • Marines load supplies onto a forklift at Tacloban Air Base, Philippines, Nov. 14, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • A Naval Aircrewman prepares to drop supplies, Tacloban, Philippines, Nov., 14, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
     
  • An MH-60S Seahawk drops supplies onto Tacloban Air Base, Philippines, Nov. 14, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • Marines and U.S. Army Soldiers load supplies onto an MV-22 Osprey, Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 14, 2013.(U.S. Navy)

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jamie Whyte from: Spring Hill Kansas
November 27, 2013 10:30 PM
Looking for information on Albert Argyle from Union Missouri who was in the Philippines during the typhoon . Please email me at skunktastic79@gmail.com . . Thank you and God Bless

by: Anne from: Medicine Hat, Alberta
November 19, 2013 2:15 PM
Hello,

I am looking for the photographers contact information in order to use the image in a fundraising music cd project for the Typhoon disaster. Thank you.

by: Jose Glenn Asuque from: Cavite, Philippines
November 17, 2013 8:21 AM
Appreciate if somebody can please help me find my son...http://google.org/personfinder/2013-yolanda/results?role=seek&query=asuque

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs