Typhoon Haiyan destroyed entire towns in Philippines last week and authorities fear that more than 10,000 people might be dead, with rescue workers doing their best to cope with the overwhelming efforts of helping survivors. If the number of victims will prove to be correct, this will make Typhoon Haiyan the deadliest the Philippines has ever encountered.
Tsunami-like waves and violent winds of up to 315 kilometers an hour hit the archipelago, ravaging the area.
Hundreds of police and soldiers were deployed to contain looters in Tacloban, the devastated provincial capital of Leyte, while the United States announced it had responded to a Philippine government appeal and would send military help.
“Tacloban is totally destroyed. Some people are losing their minds from hunger or from losing their families,” high school teacher Andrew Pomeda, 36, said, as he warned of the increasing desperation of survivors.
“People are becoming violent. They are looting business establishments, the malls, just to find food, rice and milk… I am afraid that in one week, people will be killing from hunger,” he added, according to the international press.
What the typhoon has left behind looks more like the consequences of a tsunami, said the Philippine country director of the World Food Programme, Praveen Agrawal, who visited Tacloban.
“All the trees are bent over, the bark has been stripped off, houses have been damaged. In many cases they have collapsed,” he said.
Authorities are trying to deal with the typhoon’s disastrous consequences.
“We had a meeting last night with the governor and, based on the government’s estimates, initially there are 10,000 casualties (dead),” Chief Superintendent Elmer Soria said in Tacloban.
“About 70 to 80 percent of the houses and structures along the typhoon’s path were destroyed.”
The Philippines is located along a typhoon belt and the so-called Ring of Fire, a vast Pacific Ocean region where many of Earth’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.