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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More