News / Asia

Typhoon Haiyan Pounds Central Philippines; 3 Dead

VOA News
One of the strongest typhoons ever recorded is pounding the central Philippines, where it has caused landslides, destroyed buildings and killed at least three people.
 
Many parts of the archipelago nation were cut off from electricity and communications Friday, as Typhoon Haiyan made landfall on the islands of Leyte and Samar.
 
The storm, known in the Philippines as Yolanda, had wind gusts of over 350 kilometers per hour as it lashed the islands. Some forecasters say this makes it the strongest recorded typhoon ever to make landfall.
 
Officials confirmed that three people had been killed and seven injured, though the death toll seems certain to rise. Over 700,000 people in 29 provinces have been evacuated.
 
Typhoon Haiyan, Nov. 7, 2013Typhoon Haiyan, Nov. 7, 2013
x
Typhoon Haiyan, Nov. 7, 2013
Typhoon Haiyan, Nov. 7, 2013
Sonny Coloma, a presidential spokesman, said the government is working hard to distribute relief goods and prevent mass casualties in the worst-hit areas.
 
"The goods were pre-positioned there and have been brought to the areas of great concern. Right now, they're taking care of continuing needs.  Let's remember with those past calamities, ones similar to this, what the president wants is a timely supply and enough food," said Coloma.
 
However, many parts of the hardest-hit areas were unreachable on Friday, and the extent of the damage is not yet known.
 
Aya Omar, a call center supervisor in Manila, told VOA she is "very worried" about her family, which lives near a beach on Leyte Island's Tacloban city. Omar said she has not talked to her family since early Friday, when her mother sent frantic text messages about the incoming storm.
 
"All communication lines are down and nobody can get out there. Pretty much the whole city, Tacloban city, is off the grid right now, so I don't know what I can do now except pray," said Omar.
 
Television images from Tacloban showed streets turned into rivers as iron sheets from damaged buildings swirled in the air above. Many poorly constructed houses were completely washed away.
 
Minnie Portales, Public Engagement Director with World Vision Philippines, told VOA her aid group has not been able to contact its spokesperson in Tacloban. She said some areas there saw nearly 5-meter-high waves and were under 3 meters of water.
 
"All the electricity has been cut off, all the houses were damaged, particularly in Tacloban because of the strong winds that were 350 kilometers per hour. And there's a difficulty in terms of communication because there are two telecommunications centers that were already affected," said Portales.
 
Portales said the casualty figures likely will rise as communication lines are restored. She said there will be an immediate need for food, water and shelter, since many homes and agricultural land have been damaged.
 
The World Vision official was speaking from Manila, which was not expected to be impacted significantly from the storm.
 
One area of particular concern is the central Philippine island of Bohol, where more than 200 people were killed in a 7.2 magnitude earthquake last month and thousands of people are still living in temporary shelters.
 
Philippine meteorologists warn Haiyan could be more dangerous than last year's Typhoon Bopha, which killed at least 1,100 people on the southern island of Mindanao. Bopha was the world's most powerful storm in 2012.
 
The Philippines is vulnerable to severe flooding caused by heavy rains and tsunamis. It is hit by about 20 tropical cyclones each year.

Courtesy Central Weather Bureau, Taiwan.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid