Welcome to SKYE

the new AOL Weather
What's new on Skye

The SKYE’s Weather Experience

We have recently redesigned AOL Weather. Learn about how we changed the way you experience weather forecasts.

See What's New My Cities
x

Skye Weather+Photo

The app where life and weather come together

x
Follow us:

Typhoon Victims in Philippines Plead for Aid

Officials say that Friday's typhoon may have killed 10,000 or more people
Updated Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, 6:04 p.m. ET
Survivors look as a military C-130 plane arrives at typhoon-ravaged Tacloban city, Leyte province central Philippines on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. The city remains littered with debris from damaged homes as many complain of shortage of food, water and no electricity since the Typhoon Haiyan slammed into their province. Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, according to U.S. Navy's Joint Warning Center, slammed into central Philippine provinces Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction and scores of people dead.  (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Survivors look at a military C-130 plane which arrives at typhoon-ravaged Tacloban city, Leyte province central Philippines on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) - Bloated bodies lay uncollected and uncounted in the streets and desperate survivors pleaded for food, water and medicine as rescue workers took on a daunting task Monday in the typhoon-battered islands of the Philippines. Thousands were feared dead.

The hard-hit city of Tacloban resembled a garbage dump from the air, with only a few concrete buildings left standing in the wake of one of the most powerful storms to ever hit land, packing 147-mph winds and whipping up 20-foot walls of seawater that tossed ships inland and swept many out to sea.

"Help. SOS. We need food," read a message painted by a survivor in large letters on the ravaged city's port, where water lapped at the edge.

There was no one to carry away the dead, which lay rotting along the main road from the airport to Tacloban, the worst-hit city along the country's remote eastern seaboard.

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)
At a small naval base, eight swollen corpses - including that of a baby - were submerged in water brought in by the storm. Officers had yet to move them, saying they had no body bags or electricity to preserve them.

Authorities estimated the typhoon killed 10,000 or more people, but with the slow pace of recovery, the official death toll three days after the storm made landfall remained at 942.

However, with shattered communications and transportation links, the final count was likely days away, and presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said "we pray" it does not surpass 10,000.

"I don't believe there is a single structure that is not destroyed or severely damaged in some way - every single building, every single house," U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy said after taking a helicopter flight over Tacloban, the largest city in Leyte province. He spoke on the tarmac at the airport, where two Marine C-130 cargo planes were parked, engines running, unloading supplies.

Authorities said at least 9.7 million peo ple in 41 provinces were affected by the typhoon, known as Haiyan elsewhere in Asia but called Yolanda in the Philippines. It was likely the deadliest natural disaster to beset this poor Southeast Asian nation.

"Please tell my family I'm alive," said Erika Mae Karakot as she stood among a throng of people waiting for aid. "We need water and medicine because a lot of the people we are with are wounded. Some are suffering from diarrhea and dehydration due to shortage of food and water."

Philippine soldiers were distributing food and water, and assessment teams from the United Nations and other international agencies were seen Monday for the first time. The U.S. military dispatched food, water, generators and a contingent of Marines to the city, the first outside help in what will swell into a major international relief mission.

Authorities said they had evacuated some 800,000 people ahead of the typhoon, but many evacuation centers proved to be no protection against the wind and rising water. The Philippine National Red Cross, responsible for warning the region and giving advice, said people were not prepared for a storm surge.

"Imagine America, which was prepared and very rich, still had a lot of challenges at the time of Hurricane Katrina, but what we had was three times more than what they received," said Gwendolyn Pang, the group's executive director.

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

Emily Ortega, 21 and about to give birth, said she clung to a post to survive after the evacuation center she fled to was devastated by the 20-foot (6-meter) storm surge. She reached safety at the airport, where she gave birth to a baby girl, Bea Joy Sagales, whose arrival drew applause from the military medics who assisted in the delivery.

The wind, rain and coastal storm surges transformed neighborhoods into twisted piles of debris, blocking roads and trapping decomposing bodies underneath. Cars and trucks lay upended among flattened homes, and bridges and p orts were washed away.

"In some cases the devastation has been total," said Secretary to the Cabinet Rene Almendras.

At U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Poland, the envoy from the Philippines broke down in tears as he described waiting in agony for news from relatives caught in the massive storm's path.

"In solidarity with my countrymen, who are struggling to find food back home ... I will now commence a voluntary fasting for the climate," said the envoy, Naderev "Yeb" Sano, who urged delegates to work toward "meaningful" change. His emotional appeal was met with a standing ovation.

In Tacloban, residents stripped malls, shops and homes of food, water and consumer goods. Officials said some of the looting smacked of desperation but in other cases people hauled away TVs, refrigerators, Christmas trees and even a treadmill. An Associated Press reporter said he saw about 400 special forces and soldiers patrolling downtown to guard against further chaos.

Brig. Gen. Kennedy said Philippine forces were handling security well and U.S. troops were "looking at how to open up roads and land planes and helicopters" in order to bring in shelter, water and other supplies.

Still, those caught in the storm were worried that aid would not arrive soon enough.

"We're afraid that it's going to get dangerous in town because relief goods are trickling in very slow," said Bobbie Womack, an American missionary from Athens, Tenn. "I know it's a massive, massive undertaking to try to feed a town of over 150,000 people. They need to bring in shiploads of food."

Womack's husband, Larry, said he chose to stay at their beachside home in Tacloban, only to find the storm surge engulfing it. He survived by climbing onto a beam in the roof.

"The roof was lifting up and the wind was coming through and there were waves going over my head," he said. "The sound was loud. It was just incredible."

Marvin Daga, a 19-year-old st udent, tried to ride out the storm in his home with his ailing father, Mario, but the storm surge carried the building away.

They clung to each other while the house floated for a while, but it eventually crumbled and they fell into churning waters. The teen grabbed a coconut tree with one hand and his father with the other, but he slipped out of his grasp.

"I hope that he survived," Marvin said as tears filled his eyes. "But I'm not expecting to find him anymore."

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III declared a "state of national calamity," allowing the central government to release emergency funds quicker and impose price controls on staple goods. He said the two worst-hit provinces, Leyte and Samar, had witnessed "massive destruction and loss of life" but that elsewhere casualties were low.

Haiyan hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippines on Friday and quickly barreled across its central islands, with winds that gusted to 170 mph. It inflicted serious damage to at least six islands in the middle of the eastern seaboard.

The storm's sustained winds weakened to 74 mph as the typhoon made landfall in northern Vietnam early Monday after crossing the South China Sea, according to the Hong Kong meteorological observatory. Authorities there evacuated hundreds of thousands of people, but there were no reports of significant damage or injuries.

It was downgraded to a tropical storm as it entered southern China later Monday, and weather officials forecast torrential rain in the area until Tuesday. No major damage was reported in China, though Xinhua News Agency said heavy winds tore a cargo ship from its moorings in southern China and drove it out to sea, killing at least two crew members.

The Philippines, an archipelago nation of more than 7,000 islands, is annually buffeted by tropical storms and typhoons, which are called hurricanes and cyclones elsewhere. The impoverished and densely populated nation of 96 million people is in the northwestern Pacific, right in the path of the world's No. 1 typhoon generator, according to meteorologists. The archipelago's exposed eastern seaboard often bears the brunt.

Even by the standards of the Philippines, however, Haiyan was an especially large catastrophe. Its winds were among the strongest ever recorded, and it appears to have killed more people than the previous deadliest Philippine storm, Thelma, in which about 5,100 people died in the central Philippines in 1991.

The country's deadliest disaster on record was the 1976 magnitude-7.9 earthquake that triggered a tsunami in the Moro Gulf in the southern Philippines, killing 5,791 people.

PHOTOS ON SKYE: Typhoon Haiyan Slams Into Philippines

Comments

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

664 Comments

Filter by:
John

I don't understand why we run to the aid outside our country when we don't aid those inside our country FIRST: taking care of victims of OUR disasters were never finished. we have people who are still ruined and not on their feet yet from -
Storm Sandy, The Floods and Fires in the south-east and south-west and even Katrina. Thanks to our stupid Gov't and Stupid charities -- they'd much rather take care of those outside our country than finish the job inside our country first. People get a little sick and tired of being passed over and asked for more taxes and contributions. And how many other countries come to our aid when national disaster hits? How long have other countries been in existance compared to the USA? and don't they have insurance? Let's take care of our own first!

November 12 2013 at 10:45 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ascha79846

The problems that plague the country now are the same problems it had before the typhoon. The difference is scale.

November 12 2013 at 9:31 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ascha79846

These countries plead and fight for independence from America until these things happen. Now we are expected to rebuild the country. If we do, it needs to be to our standards.

November 12 2013 at 9:18 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
sailloco

Maybe if there was still a US Navy base in Subic Bay we could have got there faster. Oh wait, they kicked us out.

November 12 2013 at 9:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sal

For those who would like to help: www.redcross.org.ph/donate

November 12 2013 at 9:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rcsyes

Natural disasters occur all over the world, but surely, the Philippines has its extra large share. The people, amazingly, somehow, stay strong and survive.
I feel sick thinking about how horrible the suffering will be. It's at moments like this that I lose faith. I am bewildered trying to understand how this is part of God's plan.
Just a short 3 weeks previously, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Bohol/Cebu Philippines.
I do not understand. How do I have faith while events that cause such suffering continue unabated?
Yet, I still say, that I pray for those survivors.

November 12 2013 at 9:12 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rcsyes's comment
John

I feel the same --but maybe that is God's plan, for what ever reason. I don't understand why we run to the aid outside our country when we don't aid those inside our country FIRST: taking care of victems of OUR disters were never finished. we have people who are still reuined and not on their feet yets from -
Storm Sandy, The Floods and Fires in the south-east and south-west and even Katrina. Thanks to our stupid Gov't and Stupid cherities -- they'd much rather tak care of those oyutside our country than finish the job inside our country first. People get a little sick and tired of being passed over and asked for more taxes and contributions. And how many other countries come to our aid when national disaster hits? Lets take care of our own first!

November 12 2013 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sal

Many of these posts on here make me ashamed of my fellow Americans. Such negative, selfish, ignorant babies! Drop dead morons!

November 12 2013 at 9:10 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jhnlane1

If you don't KNOW the organization as bonafide, certified, bonded, etc. don't send them anything. I know intentions are good but there are thousands, if not millions of deadbeat, worthless "people" out there that will play on your heartstrings to fatten their wallets. This is certainly a part of the world that needs help so give but if you have any reservations about an email request for donations, call the Better Business Bureau first.

November 12 2013 at 9:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
joet7373

the United States and a host of other countries will be sending aid , while the Taliban will be praying for more catastrophes to kill the innocent .

November 12 2013 at 8:57 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
tcapone59

i would like to voluntary my help any way possible my email address is tcapone59@aol.com instead of people complaining what the government is and isn't doing why not do something to help we are all human and need help where every we are think if this was fl the flat lands nobody would survive and then again the government will be at fault its so easy to blame but not easy to help again i would like to offer my help if their is anything i can do

November 12 2013 at 8:56 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Like us on Facebook?
Next on Skye
Arctic Air, First Snow of Season Aim for Northeast