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

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition 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.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
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 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 US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
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 Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs