Sunday, November 17, 2013

Law and order prevailing in Philippine typhoon chaos

Hurriyet News Daily: Fears that the dire situation among desperate typhoon survivors in the Philippines would tip into violence receded, as relief operations scaled up and a reinforced police presence deterred looters.

At Tacloban airport, which had witnessed frenzied scenes earlier in the week as crowds fought for a seat on any plane leaving the devastated city, a semblance of order had been restored. “Things are looking very different here than they were when we arrived,” said Cpt. Jon Shamess of the U.S. Airforce’s 320th Special Tactics Squadron, which had flown in from Okinawa on Nov. 12 to help secure the airport. Helping stabilize the situation was the arrival of the U.S. aircraft carrier, USS George Washington, which began flying in urgently needed aid to towns worst-hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan.

“Before, as soon as a plane landed, people were all rushing towards it trying to get on, which is obviously a very dangerous situation,” Shamess said. There were still thousands of people desperate to get out, but most stood patiently, waiting their turn.

In Tacloban city the police deployment had swelled to around 1,200, with reinforcements flown in from Manila, according to Wilben Mayor, spokesman for the Philippines national police chief. “There was some looting but that has been contained now,” Mayor told Agence France-Presse...

Filipino civilians displaced by Typhoon Haiyan board a U.S. Marine Corps KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft Nov. 12, 2013, before being transported to Manila. Shot by LCpl Anne Henry, US Navy photo

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