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Bodies in the streets, a plague of looters and 10,000 dead in one city alone: Filipinos struggle to cope with huge typhoon that was 'like a tsunami'



  • Typhoon Haiyan was a maximum category-five storm with ground winds of up to 235mph
  • Authorities say the death toll could be 10,000 in the city of Tacloban, Leyte, alone
  • Around four million people are said to have been affected, according to the the country's national disaster agency
  • Bodies were seen floating in flooded streets and survivors said the aftermath is like the 2004 Tsunami
  • Filipino government now considering introducing martial law to combat looting sprees as homeless search for food
  • Britain has pledged more than £6million in aid and support for the devastated country
  • UN says 2.5m people are in need of food aid and UNICEF have estimated 1.5 m children live in affected areas
  • Hundreds of thousands of people in South East Asia have been evacuated and moved to shelters
  • Vietnam authorities moved 883,000 people in 11 central provinces to safe zones, government said
  • Typhoon has now made landfall in Sanya in south China's Hainan province



The Filipino government has threatened the introduction of martial law to battle widespread looting in the wake of the super typhoon which has caused a 'tsunami-like disaster' feared to have claimed 10,000 lives in one city alone. 

Reports of lawless mobs ransacking the homes of the dead and remains of shops in Tacloban, Leyte, one of the worst hit parts of the country, has forced President Benigno Aquino to deploy police and army troops to the area to restore calm.

Efforts by aid agencies to deliver food and water have been hampered by plagues of looters attacking emergency convoys and stealing from supply vans, the Philippine Red Cross have said. A TV station reported ATM machines have been broken open. 

President Benigno Aquino said: 'Tonight, a column of armoured vehicles will be arriving in Tacloban to show the government's resolve and to stop this looting.'


In Tacloban, dozens of people crowd outside a store. There have been reports if widespread looting with residents admitting they are stealing to feed their families


Action: President Benigno Aquino has deployed troops to the area in a bid to restore calm after aid trucks were attacked by hungry mobs


Aftermath: Resident gather in the remains of a structure in Tacloban. Those left homeless have been forced to plunder the houses belonging to the dead. One local councillor admitted he has stepped on corpses in a desperate bid to find food saying: 'If you have not eaten in three days, you do shameful things to survive'

Village councillor and father-of-four Edward Gualberto searched through the debris for food, but said he had accidentally stepped on corpses as he took food from their ruined homes.


He said: ‘I am a decent person. But if you have not eaten in three days, you do shameful things to survive.

‘We have no food, we need water. This typhoon has stripped us of our dignity, but I still have my family and I am grateful for that.’



Shop owners witnessed scenes of anarchy as looters forced their way into stores which had survived the storm.

Pastry shop owner Emma Bermejo said: ‘There is no security personnel, relief goods are too slow to arrive.

‘People are dirty, hungry and thirsty. A few more days and they will begin to kill each other.

‘This is shameful. We have been hit by a catastrophe and now our businesses are gone. Looted. I can understand if they take our food and water, they can have it. But TV sets? Washing machines?’


The Philippines president is considering introducing martial law in Tacloban city (pictured), where up to 10,000 people are feared dead, to enforce security after serious looting


Those who survived the storm have begun to describe their horror at seeing neighbours washed away with the debris of the flood water.

Mirasol Saoyi, 27, lives in Tacloban, she said: ‘The huge waves came again and again, flushing us out on the street and washing away our homes.

‘My husband tied us together but still we got separated among the debris. I saw many people drowning, screaming and going under... I haven’t found my husband.’ 

Families ransacked the ruins of their former homes in the hope of finding survivors or food but told how they were overpowered by the stench of death and rotting bodies.



10,000 people have been killed in super typhoon Haiyan that hit the central Philippines on Friday, according to a police chief in the area








Washing still hangs on the lines but dozens of bamboo houses have been flattened by the storm in Baladian in the municipality of Concepcion, Iloilo Province





Loss: A mother weeps beside the dead body of her son at a chapel in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban

Among the tragic images that were emerging was the sight of a distressed man carrying the body of his drowned six-year-old daughter.

One young mother fought back tears as she told how the typhoon had killed 11 members of her family, including her two-year-old daughter.

Jenny Dela Cruz, who is eight months pregnant, told the BBC: ‘I can’t think, I don’t know what to do.

‘Right now all we can do is survive the day but I don’t know what will happen tomorrow or the day after that, or if we can continue surviving.’

Bodies have been seen floating down the streets and hanging from trees, cars lying upside down and houses reduced to a pile of soggy mud and brick.

Eastern islands and the centre of the Philippines were battered by winds in excess of 200mph. 


A ship was washed ashore in the huge storm. Surging sea water strewed debris for miles and survivors said the devastation was like a tsunami





The storm is one of the most powerful ever recorded and huge waves swept away entire coastal villages and destroyed up to 80 per cent of the area in its path


More than 330,900 people were displaced and 4.3million 'affected' by the typhoon in 36 provinces, the U.N. has said


Residents try to salvage belongings in Tacloban city, Leyte province. Rescuers have not even been able to contact some towns on the coast where the storm first hit




This afternoon, Typhoon Haiyan - believed to be the strongest storm to ever hit land - made landfall in Sanya in south China's Hainan province


Workers remove a tree that fell onto a car during the deadly storm, which is the 30th typhoon to strike China this year


The typhoon is now making its way towards Vietnam and mainland China - with locals bracing themselves for the onslaught of the deadly typhoon


Heavy winds had already caused damage to China's Hainan island before the super typhoon made landfall. Above, a billboard is blown over by the strong winds



Because communications were cut, the number killed might not be known for several days, but from numerous towns and villages across the country today, the shocking figures began to reach rescue centres - including a report from Basey town on Samar Island that 300 were confirmed dead and another 2,000 were missing.

On the island of Leyte, regional governor Dominic Petilla reported that the deaths there were mostly caused by drowning and collapsed buildings.

Mr Leo Dacaynos of the provincial disaster office on Samar Island said yesterday that the storm surge resulted in sea waters rising to 20ft, totally submerging small towns and villages.

The flood waters were still preventing rescuers from reaching parts of the island, said Mr Dacaynos, and mobile towers had been destroyed, making communication difficult.


A man carries boxes of milk as he passes by ships washed ashore by enormous waves in Tacloban city, Leyte province



One survivor said the scenes of utter devastation caused by the typhoon was 'like the end of the world'


Aid agencies have made emergency appeals for funds and are trying to reach survivors who are in desperate need of clean water and shelter



Bodies still lie in the roads and thousands of homes lie destroyed near the fish port after super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city




This NASA MODIS Aqua satellite image shows what is possibly the strongest storm ever - Super Typhoon Haiyan

In Tacloban city, which has a population of 200,000 some 360 miles south east of Manila - it was feared the death toll would be very high, although Interior Secretary Max Roxas, who arrived there at the weekend, said it was too early to know how many people had died there.

‘We expect a very high number of fatalities as well as injured,’ he said.

‘All systems, all vestiges of modern living - communications, power, water, all are down. Radios are down so there is no way to communicate with the people in a mass sort of way.’

Capt John Andrews, deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Authority, said he had received reliable information by radio from his staff that more than 100 bodies were lying in the streets of Tacloban.

The city’s airport was described as looking like a muddy wasteland filled with debris that included buckled tin roofs and overturned cars.


Local and foreign medical teams prepare to board a Philippines air force C-130 transport plane in Manila



Survivors walk towards the evacuation center to get relief goods after super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city, central Philippines



City administrators in Tacloban said about 400 bodies have been collected so far but said the death toll in the city alone could be 10,000


A girl looks out from a makeshift shelter in Tacloban. The World Food Programme said it was airlifting 40 tonnes of high-energy biscuits to the region



A woman holds her umbrella stands on debris of houses in Tacloban. Millions of people are believed to have been 'affected' by the storm, including hundreds of thousands who have lost their homes



Windows in the control tower were shattered.

Airport manager Efren Nagrama, 47, said water levels rose up to 13 feet.

'It was like a tsunami. We escaped through the windows and I held on to a pole for about an hour as rain, seawater and wind swept through the airport,' he said. 

'Some of my staff survived by clinging to trees. I prayed hard all throughout until the water subsided.'

Mila Ward, 53, a Philippine-born Australian, said that as she travelled to the airport to catch a military flight back to Manila ‘we saw may bodies along the street.

‘They were covered with just anything - tarpaulin, roofing sheets, cardboard.There would have been well over 100 bodies along the way.’


Children pull sacks of goods they recovered from abandoned stores as they go past the rubble of houses in Tacloban



A woman mourns in front of her husband's dead body, which lies no the street under tarpaulin alongside other bodies



An injured Filipino boy stand in front of the rubble of houses in Tacloban - destroyed by the typhoon that has left thousands of people dead







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Flattened: A Filipino boy stands among the debris in Tacloban, Leyte - one of the worst areas hit by category five storm Typhoon Haiyan



Death: It has been estimated by the Red Cross that 1,000 of the 1,200 people killed by the typhoon were residents of Tacloban




The World Food Programme said it was airlifting 40 tonnes of high-energy biscuits, enough to feed 120,000 people for a day, to the Philippines, as well as emergency supplies and telecommunications equipment.


Plans: An elderly woman is taken from her home in Danang, Vietnam, as the government begins to evacuate 100,000 people lying in the path of typhoon Haiyan




From above: An aerial view shows badly damaged houses, including many without a roof, and blocked roads in the Philippine province of Iloilo



Recovery: A child is lifted to safety from a house in Tacloban, left, and two residents sit on the pavement in front of their home in the same city, right


Officials in China, as well as neighbouring Laos and Cambodia are currently taking precautions in an attempt to soften the impact of the ferocious storm. 

Humanitarian experts say they expect the number of casualties to be 'massive'. A Red Cross spokesman said: 'We now fear that thousands will have lost their lives.'

The UK has sent a team of three experts to the country today to assess the extent of the damage, after which the Government will decide upon its response, a spokesman for the Department for International Development (Dfid) said.





Flattened: The typhoon has ravaged most of the city of Tacloban and destroyed the airport






Ruins: A resident sifts through rubbish inside his ruined home, flattened by 235mph winds in the devastated city of Tacloban





Scale: This image shows the enormous Typhoon Haiyan taken by Astronaut Karen L. Nyberg aboard the Internatioal Space Station


Satellite: A picture posted on Twitter by NASA at 8.00pm GMT shows the centre of the moving across the South China Sea towards the coast of Vietnam



Path: Once the typhoon has reached the coast of Vietnam it is expected to moved towards the capital, Hanoi, with parts of Laos and Cambodia also likely to be affected



Loss: A pregnant woman, left, walks around the remains of her home while a young boy, right, walks past a crushed car in the destroyed town of Tacloban





Temporary: Bodies of victims lay in a deserted chapel in Tacloban. A woman and child, right, view the distressing scene



Flooding: Locals in Coron, Palawan, walk among damaged buildings and flooded streets after the typhoon - one of the most powerful to ever hit land


Terrifying: Filipino children are seen in the city of Tacloban, Leyte. Behind them is a scene of devastation with homes flattened and debris lying in the street


Picking up the pieces: Some residents try to go about their daily business despite the large-scale destruction




Tragedy: Bodies of residents can be seen in the streets of Tacloban, while one local is forced to transport a body in a wheelbarrow




Collapsed: A resident walks past her destroyed home - flattened by piles of wood and branches from nearby trees - in Tacloban city



International Development Secretary Justine Greening has also pledged £6million worth of emergency aid. 

She said: 'My thoughts are with the people of the Philippines, in particular those who have lost loved ones. UK support is now under way.

'Many thousands of people in remote, hard-to-reach communities have lost their homes and everything they own. They are living in the open and completely exposed to the elements.

'The absolute priority must be to reach them with shelter and protection as soon as possible.

'UK support will provide urgently needed access to clean water, shelter, household items and blankets,

'We are also sending additional humanitarian experts from the UK to work with the DfID team and international agencies, including ensuring partners are prioritising the protection of vulnerable girls and women.'


Workers: Local Red Cross staff place sand bags on the roof of a house in Danang, Vietnam





Debris: Helicopters hover over the damaged area of Tacloban city, which was battered with strong winds yesterday








Victim: A resident walks past dead bodies that lie on the street in Tacloban city, Leyte province

Vice mayor Jim Pe of Coron town on Busuanga, the last island battered by the typhoon, said most of the houses and buildings there had been destroyed or damaged. 

Five people drowned in the storm surge and three others are missing. He said: 'It was like a 747 flying just above my roof.' adding that his family and some of his neighbours whose houses were destroyed took shelter in his basement.

In the aftermath, people were seen weeping while retrieving bodies of loved ones inside buildings and on a street that was littered with fallen trees, roofing material and other building parts torn off in the typhoon's fury. 

All that was left of one large building whose walls were smashed in were the skeletal remains of its rafters.




Under water: Residents wade through a flooded street in Mindoro, Philippines this morning following the typoon



Pile up: Vehicles and rubbish are pictured strewn across a flooded street in Tacloban, Leyte


Upside down: A devastated airport in Tacloban city, Leyte province - where roofs were ripped on hundreds of houses




Shock: These two pictures show the devastation in Coron, Palawan where buildings have been flattened, left and right, leaving residents helplessly walking the streets.




Space: A digital composite of Typhoon Haiyan approaching the Philippines, made using images captured geostationary satellites of the Japan Meteorological Agency


Rebuilding their lives: Two men in Iloilo move some of their belongings through flood waters covering the streets 




Devastation: Debris which was washed in by the storm litters the road by the coastal village in Legazpi city. Residents now face a long clean up operation





Hanging on: A fisherman in Manila is forced to cling on to his equipment, left,  while there was little hope for other less stable buildings in the storm's path, right



Higher ground: Residents of Legaspi, Albay province, south of Manila resident, were forced to flee the coast as Haiyan continued to pound the sea wall today









Downpour: As well as strong winds, the typhoon brought with it torrential rain which caused landslides in rural parts of the country


Terrifying: Residents run for their lives as the terrible gusts of the typhoon buffet the popular tourist city of Cebu. Trees and roofs were torn off by the storm




Aid effort: Volunteers pack relief goods inside a Department of Social Welfare and Development warehouse before shipping out to devastated provinces







Shelter: Filipino residents sleep on the floor of a gymnasium turned into an evacuation center in Sorsogon City in the Bicol region



The developing country is particularly vulnerable because it is often the first major landmass for the storms after they build over the Pacific Ocean.

The Philippine government and some scientists have said climate change may be increasing the ferocity and frequency of storms.

Others say Pacific waters were an important reason for the strength of Haiyan, but added it was premature to blame climate change based on the scanty historical data available.

The poverty-stricken country has already endured a year of earthquakes and floods, with no fewer than 24 disastrous weather events.

The Philippines suffered the world's strongest storm of 2012, when Typhoon Bopha left about 2,000 people dead or missing on the southern island of Mindanao.


Helpless: People look on as their village hall in Iloilo province is washed into the flood waters



Evacuations: Residents living near the slopes of Mayon volcano are evacuated to public schools by police in anticipation of the powerful typhoon Haiyan




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i love these great disasters

because the true nature of human spirit is unleashed from under the thin veneer of 'civilisation'

I salute those who survived this for raising their game

i spit on those who died - the weak base creatures, of no use to humanity and who have been wiped away

Only the strong survive, something we forget in our mollycoddled western world

What's weak about being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

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Difficult to comprehend.


And to think that figure only takes into account a few of the affected areas. It's devastating to hear these kinds of numbers.

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