Dee Finney's blog November 11, 2013 - page 593  WORST STORM IN RECORDED HISTORY

 

STORM 2013

ESTIMATED OVER 10,000 PEOPLE KILLED

TYPHOON HAIYAN 2013

 

Dee Finney's blog

start date July 20, 2011

today's date November 11, 2013

page 593

WORST STORM IN RECORDED HISTORY

Philippines Typhoon Death Toll Rises In Storm's Aftermath

11-15-2013

Body bags are lined up along the street curbs.

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A top Philippine civil defense official says the death toll from last week's Typhoon Haiyan has risen to 3,621.

That's a jump of more than 1,200 from the previous toll of 2,360 that was announced earlier Friday by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Its executive director, Eduardo del Rosario, told reporters that the "latest death toll" from all the provinces hit by the typhoon is 3,621. He did not give details. An official at the agency later said its website will be updated with the latest toll later Friday.

The new figure has surpassed the estimated 2,500 deaths that President Benigno Aquino III had predicted earlier this week

 

Typhoon Haiyan: Death Toll From Storm Tops 3,600 In The Philippines

Full horror of destruction in Philippines revealed as rescue workers says two thirds of dead are children

By Becky Evans, Richard Shears and Sophie Jane Evans

|

A survivor of the devastating Philippines typhoon has described the grim scenes in the city of Tacloban saying 'Two out of every five corpses I saw were kids.'

Lynette Lim, the Asia communications manager for Save the Children said: 'The water was knee high and there were bodies floating in the streets. I saw several dead children.'

In the worst-hit areas, 235mph winds created 20ft waves that are thought to have killed between 10,000 and 15,000 and left 500,000 homeless after their houses were reduced to splinters.

Super-typhoon Haiyan struck with such force on Friday that entire villages were flattened, ships were swept inland and corpses were left hanging from trees.

Desperate survivors of the devastating Philippines typhoon told how they had to steal from the dead to eat.

View Video and Pictures and Read More At: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2499851/Typhoon-smashed-houses-smithereens-Full-horror-destruction-Philippines-revealed-rescue-workers-says-thirds-dead-children.html


 

 

Associated Press

TACLOBAN, Philippines -- TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) -- As many as 10,000 people are believed to have died in one Philippine city alone when one of the worst storms on record sent giant sea waves, washing away homes, schools and airport buildings, officials said Sunday. Ferocious winds ravaged several central islands, burying people under tons of debris and leaving corpses hanging from trees.

Regional police chief Elmer Soria said he was briefed by Leyte provincial Gov. Dominic Petilla late Saturday and told there were about 10,000 deaths in the province, mostly by drowning and from collapsed buildings. The governor's figure was based on reports from village officials in areas where Typhoon Haiyan slammed Friday.

Tacloban city administrator Tecson Lim said that the death toll in the city alone "could go up to 10,000." Tacloban is the Leyte provincial capital of 200,000 people and the biggest city on Leyte Island.

On Samar Island, which is facing Tacloban, Leo Dacaynos of the provincial disaster office said Sunday that 300 people were confirmed dead in Basey town and another 2,000 are missing.

He said that the storm surge caused sea waters to rise 6 meters (20 feet) when Typhoon Haiyan hit Friday, before crossing to Tacloban.

There are still other towns on Samar that have not been reached, he said, and appealed for food and water. Power was knocked out and there was no cellphone signal, making communication possible only by radio.

Reports from the other four islands were still coming in, so far with dozens of fatalities.

The typhoon barreled through six central Philippine islands on Friday, wiping away buildings and leveling seaside homes with ferocious winds of 235 kilometers per hour (147 miles per hour) and gusts of 275 kph (170 mph). By those measurements, Haiyan would be comparable to a strong Category 4 hurricane in the U.S., and nearly in the top category, a 5.

It weakened Sunday to 166 kph (103 mph) with stronger gusts and was forecast to loose strength further when it hits northern Vietnam's Thanh Hoa province early Monday morning.

In hardest-hit Tacloban, about 300-400 bodies have already been recovered but there are "still a lot under the debris," Lim said. A mass burial was planned Sunday in Palo town near Tacloban.

Many corpses hung on tree branches, buildings and sidewalks.

"On the way to the airport we saw many bodies along the street," said Philippine-born Australian Mila Ward, 53, who was waiting at the Tacloban airport to catch a military flight back to Manila.

"They were covered with just anything -- tarpaulin, roofing sheets, cardboards," she said. Asked how many, she said, "Well over 100 where we passed."

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said a massive rescue operation was underway. "We expect a very high number of fatalities as well as injured," Roxas said after visiting Tacloban on Saturday. "All systems, all vestiges of modern living -- communications, power, water -- all are down. Media is down, so there is no way to communicate with the people in a mass sort of way."

President Benigno Aquino III, who landed in Tacloban on Sunday to get a firsthand look at the disaster, said the casualties "will be substantially more" than the official count of 151 -- but gave no figure or estimate. He said the government's priority was to restore power and communications in isolated areas to allow for the delivery of relief and medical assistance to victims.

The Philippines has no resources on its own to deal with a disaster of this magnitude, and the U.S. and other governments and agencies were mounting a major relief effort, said Philippine Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon.

At the request of the Philippine government, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel directed U.S. Pacific Command to deploy ships and aircraft to support search-and-rescue operations and airlift emergency supplies, according to a statement released by the Defense Department press office.

The president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said in a message to Aquino that the EC had sent a team to assist the Philippine authorities and that "we stand ready to contribute with urgent relief and assistance if so required in this hour of need."

Even by the standards of the Philippines, which is buffeted by many natural calamities -- about 20 typhoons a year, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions -- the latest disaster shocked the impoverished nation of 96 million people.

If the typhoon death toll is confirmed, it would be the deadliest natural catastrophe on record in the Philippines. The deadliest typhoon before Haiyan was Tropical Storm Thelma in November 1991, which killed around 5,100 people in the central Philippines. The deadliest disaster so far was the 1976 magnitude-7.9 earthquake that triggered a tsunami in the Moro Gulf in the southern Philippines, killing 5,791 people.

The airport in Tacloban, about 580 kilometers (360 miles) southeast of Manila, looked like a muddy wasteland of debris, with crumpled tin roofs and upturned cars. The airport tower's glass windows were shattered, and air force helicopters were busy flying in and out at the start of relief operations. Residential homes that had lined up a 7-kilometer (4-mile) stretch of road leading to Tacloban city were all blown or washed away.

The winds were so strong that Tacloban residents who sought shelter at a local school tied down the roof of the building but it was still ripped off and the school collapsed, Lim said. It wasn't clear how many died there.

"The devastation is, I don't have the words for it," Roxas said. "It's really horrific. It's a great human tragedy."

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Aquino was "speechless" when he told him of the devastation the typhoon had wrought in Tacloban.

"I told him all systems are down," Gazmin said. "There is no power, no water, nothing. People are desperate. They're looting."

The city's two largest malls and groceries were looted and the gasoline stations destroyed by the typhoon. Police were deployed to guard a fuel depot to prevent looting of fuel.

On Sunday, the city's overwhelmed services were reinforced by 100 special police force units sent in from elsewhere to help restore peace and order.

Tacloban is near the Red Beach on Leyte Island where U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur waded ashore on October 20, 1944, fulfilling his famous pledge, "I shall return," made in March 1942 after President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered him to relocate to Australia as Japanese forces pushed back U.S. and Filipino defenders.

Tacloban was the first city to be liberated by U.S. and Filipino forces and served as the Philippines' temporary capital for several months. It is also the home town of former Filipino first lady Imelda Marcos, whose nephew, Alfred Romualdez, is the city's mayor.

One Tacloban resident said he and others took refuge inside a parked Jeep to protect themselves from the storm, but the vehicle was swept away by a surging wall of water.

"The water was as high as a coconut tree," said 44-year-old Sandy Torotoro, a bicycle taxi driver who lives near the airport with his wife and 8-year-old daughter. "I got out of the Jeep and I was swept away by the rampaging water with logs, trees and our house, which was ripped off from its mooring."

"When we were being swept by the water, many people were floating and raising their hands and yelling for help. But what can we do? We also needed to be helped," Torotoro said.

In Torotoro's village, bodies could be seen lying along the muddy main road, as residents who had lost their homes huddled, holding on to the few things they had managed to save. The road was lined with trees that had fallen to the ground.

Vice Mayor Jim Pe of Coron town on Busuanga, the last island battered by the typhoon before it blew away to the South China Sea, said most of the houses and buildings there had been destroyed or damaged. Five people drowned in the storm surge and three others were missing, he said by phone.

"It was like a 747 flying just above my roof," he said, describing the sound of the winds. He said his family and some of his neighbors whose houses were destroyed took shelter in his basement.

In the aftermath of the typhoon, 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 storm's fury. All that was left of one large building whose walls were smashed in were the skeletal remains of its rafters.

Tim Ticar, a local tourism officer, said 6,000 foreign and local tourists were stranded on the popular resort island of Boracay, one of the tourist spots in the typhoon's path.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon offered his condolences and said U.N. humanitarian agencies were working closely with the Philippine government to respond rapidly with emergency assistance, according to a statement released by the U.N. spokesperson's office.

UNICEF estimated that about 1.7 million children are living in areas impacted by the typhoon, according to the agency's representative in the Philippines Tomoo Hozumi. UNICEF's supply division in Copenhagen was loading 60 metric tons of relief supplies for an emergency airlift expected to arrive in the Philippines on Tuesday.

In Vietnam, preparations for the typhoon were underway. About 600,000 people from the central region who had been evacuated returned home because the storm changed course and was instead heading for the northern coast, where authorities began evacuating nearly 100,000 in three northern provinces.

___

Associated Press writers Oliver Teves and Teresa Cerojano in Manila, and Minh Tran in Hanoi, Vietnam, contributed to this report.

More from HuffPost:

Residents devastated by the storm are in dire need of help.

Magina Fernandez told CNN, "Get international help to come here now -- not tomorrow, now. This is really, really like bad, bad, worse than hell, worse than hell."

To find out how you can help, click here.

 

PHILLIPPINES TYPHOON 2013   PHILLIPINES TYPHOON 2013

A boy sifts through floating garbage as he collects recyclable items to sell while strong waves crash along the shores of Manila Bay, near a slum area in Manila, 2013.  Tge Typhoon slammed into the Philippines, weakening slightly after hitting the country’s north and is moving slowly west-northwest, weather and disaster officials said. (Reuters)  It's now headed for Vietnam. 

President Benigno Aquino III warned people to leave high-risk areas, including 100 coastal communities where forecasters said the storm surge could reach up to 7 meters (23 feet).

Aquino ordered officials to aim for zero casualties, a goal often not met in an archipelago lashed by about 20 tropical storms each year, most of them deadly and destructive. Haiyan is the 24th such storm to hit the Philippines this year.

The president also assured the public of war-like preparations: three C-130 air force cargo planes and 32 military helicopters and planes on standby, along with 20 navy ships.

"No typhoon can bring Filipinos to their knees if we'll be united," he said in a televised address.

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In the aftermath - sounds like he was wrong in his estimates.

phillipines typhoon 2013

 

HOW TO YOU PREPARE FOR THIS?

 

PHILLIPINES TYPHOON 2013

 

WHY WOULD YOU LIVE IN A PLACE LIKE THIS?

 

TYPHOON-PHILLIPINES 2013

 

PHILLIPINE TYPHOON SURVIVORS

SURVIVORS

Survivors look up at a military C-130 plane as it arrives at typhoon-ravaged Tacloban city, Leyte province in central Philippines on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Hours before Typhoon Haiyan hit, Philippine authorities moved 800,000 people to sturdy evacuation centers - churches, schools and public buildings. But the brick-and-mortar structures were simply no match for the jet-force winds and massive walls of waves that swept ashore Friday, devastating cities, towns and villages and killing thousands, including many of those who had huddled in government shelters.

The tragedy is another reminder that nature's fury is sometimes so immense that it can overwhelm even the most diligent preparations. Combine that with a string of unfortunate circumstances - some man-made - and the result is the disaster of epic proportions that the country now faces.

"Sometimes, no matter how much and how carefully you prepare, the disaster is just too big," said Zhang Qiang, an expert on disaster mitigation at Beijing Normal University's Institute for Social Development and Public Policy.


Photos: Typhoon Haiyan Slams into Philippines
Residents (R) stand along a sea wall as high waves pounded them amidst strong winds as Typhoon Haiyan hit the city of Legaspi, Albay province, south of Manila on November 8, 2013.  One of the most intense typhoons on record whipped the Philippines on November 8, killing three people and terrifying millions as monster winds tore roofs off buildings and giant waves washed away flimsy homes.AFP PHOTO/CHARISM SAYAT        (Photo credit should read Charism SAYAT/AFP/Getty Images)
Some officials estimate that 10,000 or more were killed by Haiyan, washed away by the churning waters that poured in from the Pacific or buried under mountains of trash and rubble. But it may be days or even weeks before the full extent of the destruction is known.

As dire forecasts poured in to predict a storm that would be among the most powerful on record, authorities prepared by evacuating people from flimsy homes along the coast to concrete structures farther inland.

Similar tactics had worked only weeks earlier when powerful Cyclone Phailin struck India's eastern shore, killing just 25 people as thousands more sheltered in government evacuation centers away from the sea. And Vietnam appeared to have successfully evacuated some 600,000 people before a weakened Haiyan arrived there early Monday.

But Philippine officials had not anticipated the 20-feet storm surges that swept through Tacloban, capital of the island province of Leyte, which saw the worst of Haiyan's damage. And while many perished in shelters, others ignored the evacuation and stayed put in their homes, either out of fear their property would fall prey to looters or because they underestimated the risk.

"I was talking to the people of Tacloban," said senior presidential aide Rene Alemendras. "They said 'we were ready for the wind. We were not ready for the water.'

"We tried our very best to warn everybody," he said. "But it was really just overwhelming, especially the storm surge."

While the storm surge proved deadly, much of the initial destruction was caused by winds blasting at 147 mph that occasionally blew with speeds of up to 170 mph, howling like jet engines.

Lt. Col. Fermin Carangan, an air force commander in Leyte, said he was at his base in Tacloban, preparing for the storm with his men when the wind and water started coming in.


RELATED ON SKYE: Typhoon Storm Chaser in Philippines: 'It Just Went Nuclear'

"It was 7:30 in the morning," he said. "The rain and wind were so strong and the water surged in fast and rose without letup. We had no time to move elsewhere, so we clambered up the room, about 10 of us.

"Then the roof started to peel off. One by one, we were exposed to the rain and we were just holding to the roof wooden beams. Then the walls of the building started collapsing and each one of us started falling into the water. We were yelling at each other. Then all of us got separated," said Carangan, 45.

The 25-year veteran of the air force managed to grab a wooden truss from the roof and clung to it for five hours while being buffeted by waves.

"The tide was coming from all over ... I had no sense of direction," he said. The waves eased after five hours and he paddled his makeshift lifeboat toward land in a neighboring province. Gashed, cut and bruised, he hit a coconut tree and noticed a boy about 7-year-old floating nearby, clinging to a piece of wood.

Carangan got hold of the boy and made it to the nearby village. After handing over the boy to a policeman he limped 5 miles to an army outpost.

The Philippines, which sees about 20 typhoons per year, is cursed by its geography. On a string of some 7,000 islands, there are only so many places to evacuate people to, unless they can be flown or ferried to the mainland.

The Philippines' disaster preparation and relief capacities are also hampered by political factors. It lacks a strong central government and provincial governors have virtual autonomy in dealing with local problems.

Contrast this with Vietnam, which sees about a dozen typhoons per year and is similarly poor and densely populated. But a centralized, Communist Party-led government broadcasts clear messages that cannot be ignored by the provinces. Also, because of a clearly defined land mass, unlike the archipelago of the Philippines, it is easy to evacuate people deep inland and to higher ground.

"This is not the time to judge," said Alemendras, the presidential aide. "The national government and the local government all need to work together not to criticize anyone or not to show that one is better than the other."

But even with adequate resources and a robust government authority, forces of nature and the unpredictability of people can scuttle even the best advance planning. The 2011 tsunami in Japan might have killed many more without in-place emergency response measures, but an inadequate response to the nuclear crisis that followed seriously compounded the disaster.

Nor are such catastrophes limited to poor countries like the Philippines. When Hurricane Katrina plowed ashore near New Orleans in 2005, more than 1,400 were killed, many of whom ignored orders to evacuate before it hit.

Gwendolyn Pang, the executive director of the Philippine Red Cross, said Haiyan was three times more powerful than Katrina.

She said there should be an educational campaign to explain to people the destructiveness of a storm surge, which is like a tsunami.

"We should really start understanding this and make it our way of life, part of our readiness and preparedness," she added.


PHOTOS ON SKYE: Typhoon Haiyan Slams Into Philippines

 

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