News / Asia

    At Least 1,000 Feared Dead After Super Typhoon Slams Philippines

    A man sits in the debris with an uprooted tree seen in background,  after powerful typhoon Haiyan slammed into Tacloban, central Philippines on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.
    A man sits in the debris with an uprooted tree seen in background, after powerful typhoon Haiyan slammed into Tacloban, central Philippines on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.
    Simone Orendain
    The Philippine Red Cross estimates that more than 1,000 people were killed in the coastal city of Tacloban and at least 200 in hard-hit Samar province when the year’s strongest tropical cyclone made landfall Friday morning.

    The Philippine government is trying to verify reports of at least 100 dead in a coastal town but gave no details. Government and relief workers are now contending with blocked roads, power outages and spotty communications as they try to reach people in need.
     
    The 315-kilometer-per-hour winds of Super Typhoon Haiyan left a band of destruction across the central part of the country, which is made up of dozens of islands.
     
    From Samar and Leyte provinces on the east to Palawan on the west, relief workers are trying to get through roads blocked by downed trees and power lines, while runways in functioning airports have been cleared for government planes loaded with relief goods and communications equipment.
     
    Typhoon Haiyan is pictured in this NOAA satellite image, over the Philippines, Nov. 8, 2013.Typhoon Haiyan is pictured in this NOAA satellite image, over the Philippines, Nov. 8, 2013.
    x
    Typhoon Haiyan is pictured in this NOAA satellite image, over the Philippines, Nov. 8, 2013.
    Typhoon Haiyan is pictured in this NOAA satellite image, over the Philippines, Nov. 8, 2013.
    ​Officials are focused on Tacloban City on the coast of Leyte, which suffered a storm surge about five meters high that left bodies strewn across the ground.
     
    In a nationally televised situation briefing in Manila, Presidential Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras told the country’s emergency management council that the government is trying to send as many resources as possible to the hard-hit areas.

    “The president called a few local government officials in certain areas, who all promised to help, so [now the problem is] how do we move them?  That’s what’s being addressed,” said Almendras.
     
    A Department of Transportation representative says privately owned commercial shipping lines have offered to move goods between the islands.
     
    Major cell phone providers have requested that their workers be moved to the front of the lines of those waiting to fly to airports near the devastation, so they can restore communications.
     
    • An aerial image taken from a Philippine Air Force helicopter shows the devastation of the first landfall by typhoon Haiyan in Guiuan, Eastern Samar province, central Philippines, Nov. 11, 2013.
    • Survivors fill the streets as they line up to get supplies in Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines, Nov. 11, 2013.
    • A survivor writes a call for help, Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines, Nov. 11, 2013.
    • Survivors pass by two large boats that were washed ashore by strong waves caused by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines, Nov. 10, 2013.
    • A resident walks by remains of houses after powerful Typhoon Haiyan slammed into Tacloban city, Leyte province central Philippines on Nov. 9, 2013
    • Survivors assess the damage after super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city, central Philippines, Nov. 9, 2013.
    • Tacloban Airport is covered by debris after powerful Typhoon Haiyan hit Tacloban city, in Leyte province in central Philippines, Nov. 9, 2013.
    • Residents go on their daily business Nov. 9, 2013, following a powerful typhoon that hit Tacloban city, in Leyte province, central Philippines.
    • A fisherman carries his net after making it safely back to shore in the fishing village after a strong winds from Typhoon Haiyan battered Bayog town in Los Banos, Laguna city, south of Manila, Nov. 8, 2013. 
    • A man walks past a tree uprooted by strong winds brought by super Typhoon Haiyan that hit Cebu city, central Philippines, Nov. 8, 2013. 
    • A mother takes refuge with her children as Typhoon Haiyan hits Cebu city, central Philippines, Nov. 8, 2013.

    First responders, including the national police and the Philippine Red Cross, are calling for backup personnel because they say their own workers have been directly affected by Haiyan.
     
    The government ordered a forced evacuation and put relief packs in place well ahead of the storm, and about 800,000 people heeded the call to leave. But now some of those residents from remote areas have nowhere to return to in the wake of Haiyan's destruction.
     
    Maria Reyes in Manila says she made brief contact with a few long-time residents on her family’s property in Buswanga, in northern Palawan Province. She says her second cousin oversees the Palawan property, which includes a resort of native bungalows called "kubo" set on stilts in the bay. "

    "She says the resort was almost completely washed away," Reyes said. "There are people living on the shore on the left-hand side of the kubo and they were texting me last night and they said they had no place to go, because if they would go up the mountain, the trees would fall on them. If they stayed on the shore, then the waves would eat them up. Their houses are gone. So I don’t know what happened to them. I still haven’t heard from them.”
     
    Government officials say they are still piecing together assessments of the destruction in the west.
     
    Members of the international community have pledged support.

    On Saturday morning, a United Nations official surveyed Tacloban and compared the damage there to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

    Typhoon Haiyan Slams the Philippinesi
    X
    November 08, 2013 3:11 PM
    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. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    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.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora