Monday, November 11, 2013

Philippines destruction 'absolute bedlam'

Jon Dinnison in the BBC: The head of the Red Cross in the Philippines has described the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan as "absolute bedlam". Officials estimate up to 10,000 people have died in Tacloban city and elsewhere. Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced.

Rescue efforts are being hindered by damage to roads and airports.... One of the most powerful storms on record to make landfall, Haiyan - named "Yolanda" by Filipino authorities - barrelled into the eastern coastal provinces of Leyte and Samar on Friday. It then headed west, sweeping through six central Philippine islands.

Tacloban has been flattened. Driving down the main high street, hardly a single building is left standing. People say this town was hit by a wall of water when the typhoon hit on Friday. There is the stench of rotting corpses. Driving in from the airport, we saw scores of bodies lying by the roadside. For three days they have been there, with no one to bury them.

People are desperate for food, clean water and shelter. At the badly battered airport, a makeshift hospital has been set up. We saw two young women giving birth, laid out among the debris. Aid is getting in, but slowly. And this is just one town, in one province. No-one knows the full extent of the devastation elsewhere.

..."It's absolute bedlam right now, but hopefully it will turn out better as more and more supplies get into the area."...

The seaport in Tacloban City in 2008, shot by JinJian, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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