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

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    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.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora