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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid