Story Summary

Typhoon in Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan cut a path of massive destruction in early November in the Philippines.

It is one of the strongest storm ever recorded.  The death toll continues to rise with numbers near 10,000.

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http://www.ndrrmc.gov.ph/

http://www.redcross.org/what-we-do/international-services/where-we-help/asia/philippines

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Less than a week after Typhoon Haiyan destroyed islands in the Philippines, some good news is making its way all the way to Chicago.

Leilah and Ray Villar, ages 76 and 77, had been missing in Roxas since Typhoon Haiyan hit last week.

For days they were unaccounted for and their relatives in Chicago, including their son James, feared the worst.

A photographer walking the storm ravaged region was posting pictures of the aftermath on social media. James and his family reached out to Gerald Inocencio on Facebook asking for help. The stranger delivered days later and sent a photo of James’ parents alive in a remote town. Later he sent the video showing the Villars’ asking for more supplies.

Back in Chicago, supplies have poured in to a Filipino community center in Chicago in an unbelievable display of generosity.  The plan is to fly them to the Philippines this week where the devastation is so great.

A plane will land in Chicago this week to haul everything Chicago has donated from clothes and food to medical supplies.

Donations are being received only until 8pm tonight at 1332 West Irving Park Rd in  Chicago.

Chicago area residents are opening their hearts to victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Donations of food, water, clothing and medical supplies are pouring in at the Rizal Center, 1332 West Irving Park Road.

The donations are sealed with messages of love and support.

What began as a discussion among two friends on Monday has now grown into a full-blown effort, with hundreds of volunteers working day and night to gather supplies to help those suffering after the typhoon.

Meantime, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is urging Illinois residents who plan to donate to typhoon relief efforts to be on the lookout for fundraising scams. Madigan suggests that you ask how your donation will be used, pay close attention to the name of the charity and ask questions, don’t pay in cash, and avoid high-pressure tactics.

By Paula Hancocks. Nick Paton Walsh and Chelsea J. Carter, CNN

Desperate pleas for food and water forced aid organizations and nations around the world to scramble Wednesday to deliver supplies four days after Typhoon Haiyan flattened areas of the Philippines, where bodies still litter the streets in one devastated province.

typhoonhaiyancryingRain from a tropical depression grounded some relief flights, while blocked roads and poor conditions at some airports made delivering other aid a difficult proposition, increasing the misery of survivors and raising anxiety.

“I fear anarchy happening in Tacloban City,” said CNN iReporter Maelene Alcala, who was on vacation in Tacloban where the typhoon struck and was evacuated to Manila. “It’s like survival of the fittest.”

Tacloban, the provincial capital of the island of Leyte, was ground zero for the typhoon that struck Friday, leaving the city in ruins and its population of more than 200,000 in desperate conditions.

“The whole scene was like something fresh out of a movie. It was like the end of the world,” Alcala said. “…Survivors are walking everywhere carrying sacks of goods they were able to get.”

The lack of food and water drove famished survivors to desperate measures.

They’ve taken food and other items from grocery and department stores in Tacloban, where shop owners have organized to defend their goods with deadly force.

Authorities have sent police and military reinforcements to try to bring the situation under control.

Still, little aid was reaching victims, especially those in remote locations.

More than 2 million people need food aid, the Philippine government said.

The initial death toll projection of 10,000 was “too much,” President Benigno Aquino III told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. He estimated that the final accounting would more likely be around 2,000 to 2,500.

The toll from Typhoon Haiyan — known in the Philippines as “Yolanda” — grew to 1,833 dead and 2,623 injured, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Wednesday. At least 84 people are missing, the council said.

The number of dead and wounded will likely grow as search and rescue efforts continue.

Among the dead, the State Department said Tuesday, were two U.S. citizens. Their identities were not released pending notification of next of kin.

Bodies in the streets

Everybody in Tacloban is searching for somebody.

A dog led Yan Chow and a search crew to the body of his daughter buried underneath debris in Tacloban.

Chow has been looking for his two children and his wife since the storm hit. He was texting with his daughter when the messages suddenly stopped, about the time a massive storm surge is believed to have hit the city.

Her body was found not too far from where they found her brother, some distance from their house, Chow told CNN early Wednesday.

The children’s mother is believed to be buried somewhere nearby, Chow said.

Bodies litter the roads. Some are crudely covered in plastic and sheets, others left out in the blazing sun.

Many corpses are out of view, mixed up with the rubble spread out as far as the eye can see. Some of them may be buried inside homes covered by mud and debris.

Juan Martinez sits underneath a makeshift shack where his home once stood. Nearby, the bodies of his wife and two children are covered by sacks.

“I really want someone to collect their bodies so I know where they are taken,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “I want to know where they are taken.”

Hundreds of thousands displaced

More than 580,000 people in the Philippines have been displaced in the aftermath of the storm, disaster officials said. Of those, about 286,000 people are being housed in 993 evacuation centers, the officials said.

Aquino defended the pace of relief to some of the hardest hit areas.

The typhoon simply overwhelmed the ability of two or three local governments to do their jobs, which include taking care of the initial response, Aquino said. For example, in Tacloban, only 20 of 290 police were available when disaster struck; many were tending to their own families, he said.

The national government “had to replace a lot of the personnel with personnel from other regions to take care of government’s vital functions,” Aquino said.

The Philippines Armed Forces has increased troops and military engineers in Tacloban, and the army will fly aid to survivors in remote areas around the city with 11 helicopters and as many trucks.

The exodus from the ravaged areas is adding to road congestion, further slowing help from getting in.

Help on the way

At least 29 nations or government groups have sent or pledged aid, according to the Philippines government. The aid includes $25 million from the United Nations, $4 million from the European Union, $16 million from Britain and $10 million from the United Arab Emirates, home to a large population of expatriate Filipino workers.

In Hong Kong, the U.S. Navy rounded up sailors on shore leave from the USS George Washington and ordered the aircraft carrier’s strike group to make “best speed” for the Philippines. Its air wings will deliver supplies and medical care to survivors.

The Pentagon ordered more Marines from Japan to join the relief effort, and the U.S. Navy was also preparing three amphibious assault ships to head for the region, a senior Pentagon official told CNN. Among other things, such ships can turn seawater into desperately needed potable water.

Experts from Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam and other organizations, as well as U.N. and U.S. civilian disaster assessment teams, were on the scene.

Belgium and Russia sent field hospitals. The European Union sent €3 million ($4 million) and two Boeing 747 aircraft loaded with supplies. Israel loaded up two 747s with 200 medical personnel and supplies.

Difficult deliveries

But it will almost certainly continue to be difficult to get that aid to survivors.

Many roads remain blocked, and electricity is out in many areas, making it difficult to operate at night.

Complicating matters, a new tropical storm, Zoraida, blew in Tuesday delivering more rain, the Philippine national weather agency PAGASA reported.

Zoraida is not a strong storm, but it has dumped just under 4 inches of rain in some places, CNN meteorologists say.

It was holding up desperately needed aid in at least one province, Iloilo, where Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. grounded relief flights until it passed.

Zoraida also slowed air aid in the neighboring province of Cebu, an official said, although military planes continued flying at the maximum allowed level of risk there.

‘God, thank you for this big miracle’

Amid the despair, there were moments of joy.

In Cebu, Fritz Anosa was reunited with his parents, who live in the hard-hit city of Guiuan where the storm made its first landfall in the Philippines. They were able to make it onto a Philippines Air Force C-130 making a return flight to deliver aid to the devastated community.

“When I first saw them, I was just so happy that we all broke down in tears,” he said. “When I saw them, it was like, ‘God, thank you for this big miracle.’”

Late Tuesday, CNN iReporter Debra Thomas found Sebastian Makison, the young man she has raised since high school. He was in the Philippines for volunteer work. Family members worked through Facebook and Twitter to find him, and a volunteer worker saw the posts and connected them. They visited over Skype late Tuesday night, bringing tears of joy.

“I am praying for the rest of the families and I hope they are as lucky as we are,” Thomas said.

CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh and Paula Hancocks reported from Tacloban; Chelsea J. Carter reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN’s Ben Brumfield, Michael Pearson, Ivan Watson, Barbara Starr, Matt Smith, Jessica King, Saad Abedine, Jethro Mullen, Catherine E. Shoichet, Neda Farshbaf, Andrew Stevens, Kristie Lu Stout, and Jessica King contributed to this report.

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Desperate pleas for food and water forced aid organizations and nations around the world to scramble Wednesday to deliver supplies four days after Typhoon Haiyan flattened areas of the Philippines, where bodies still litter the streets in one devastated province.

Rain from a tropical depression grounded some relief flights, while blocked roads and poor conditions at some airports made delivering other aid a difficult proposition, increasing the misery of survivors and raising anxiety.

“I fear anarchy happening in Tacloban City,” said CNN iReporter Maelene Alcala, who was on vacation in Tacloban where the typhoon struck and was evacuated to Manila. “It’s like survival of the fittest.”

Tacloban, the provincial capital of the island of Leyte, was ground zero for the typhoon that struck Friday, leaving the city in ruins and its population of more than 200,000 in desperate conditions.

“The whole scene was like something fresh out of a movie. It was like the end of the world,” Alcala said. “…Survivors are walking everywhere carrying sacks of goods they were able to get.”

The lack of food and water drove famished survivors to desperate measures.

They’ve taken food and other items from grocery and department stores in Tacloban, where shop owners have organized to defend their goods with deadly force.

Authorities have sent police and military reinforcements to try to bring the situation under control.

Still, little aid was reaching victims, especially those in remote locations.

More than 2 million people need food aid, the Philippine government said.

The initial death toll projection of 10,000 was “too much,” President Benigno Aquino III told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. He estimated that the final accounting would more likely be around 2,000 to 2,500.

The toll from Typhoon Haiyan — known in the Philippines as “Yolanda” — grew to 1,833 dead and 2,623 injured, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Wednesday. At least 84 people are missing, the council said.

CaptureThe number of dead and wounded will likely grow as search and rescue efforts continue.

Among the dead, the State Department said Tuesday, were two U.S. citizens. Their identities were not released pending notification of next of kin.

Bodies in the streets

Everybody in Tacloban is searching for somebody.

A dog led Yan Chow and a search crew to the body of his daughter buried underneath debris in Tacloban.

Chow has been looking for his two children and his wife since the storm hit. He was texting with his daughter when the messages suddenly stopped, about the time a massive storm surge is believed to have hit the city.

Her body was found not too far from where they found her brother, some distance from their house, Chow told CNN early Wednesday.

The children’s mother is believed to be buried somewhere nearby, Chow said.

Bodies litter the roads. Some are crudely covered in plastic and sheets, others left out in the blazing sun.

Many corpses are out of view, mixed up with the rubble spread out as far as the eye can see. Some of them may be buried inside homes covered by mud and debris.

Juan Martinez sits underneath a makeshift shack where his home once stood. Nearby, the bodies of his wife and two children are covered by sacks.

“I really want someone to collect their bodies so I know where they are taken,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “I want to know where they are taken.”

Hundreds of thousands displaced

More than 580,000 people in the Philippines have been displaced in the aftermath of the storm, disaster officials said. Of those, about 286,000 people are being housed in 993 evacuation centers, the officials said.

Aquino defended the pace of relief to some of the hardest hit areas.

The typhoon simply overwhelmed the ability of two or three local governments to do their jobs, which include taking care of the initial response, Aquino said. For example, in Tacloban, only 20 of 290 police were available when disaster struck; many were tending to their own families, he said.

The national government “had to replace a lot of the personnel with personnel from other regions to take care of government’s vital functions,” Aquino said.

The Philippines Armed Forces has increased troops and military engineers in Tacloban, and the army will fly aid to survivors in remote areas around the city with 11 helicopters and as many trucks.

The exodus from the ravaged areas is adding to road congestion, further slowing help from getting in.

Help on the way

At least 29 nations or government groups have sent or pledged aid, according to the Philippines government. The aid includes $25 million from the United Nations, $4 million from the European Union, $16 million from Britain and $10 million from the United Arab Emirates, home to a large population of expatriate Filipino workers.

In Hong Kong, the U.S. Navy rounded up sailors on shore leave from the USS George Washington and ordered the aircraft carrier’s strike group to make “best speed” for the Philippines. Its air wings will deliver supplies and medical care to survivors.

The Pentagon ordered more Marines from Japan to join the relief effort, and the U.S. Navy was also preparing three amphibious assault ships to head for the region, a senior Pentagon official told CNN. Among other things, such ships can turn seawater into desperately needed potable water.

Experts from Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam and other organizations, as well as U.N. and U.S. civilian disaster assessment teams, were on the scene.

Belgium and Russia sent field hospitals. The European Union sent €3 million ($4 million) and two Boeing 747 aircraft loaded with supplies. Israel loaded up two 747s with 200 medical personnel and supplies.

Difficult deliveries

But it will almost certainly continue to be difficult to get that aid to survivors.

Many roads remain blocked, and electricity is out in many areas, making it difficult to operate at night.

Complicating matters, a new tropical storm, Zoraida, blew in Tuesday delivering more rain, the Philippine national weather agency PAGASA reported.

Zoraida is not a strong storm, but it has dumped just under 4 inches of rain in some places, CNN meteorologists say.

It was holding up desperately needed aid in at least one province, Iloilo, where Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. grounded relief flights until it passed.

Zoraida also slowed air aid in the neighboring province of Cebu, an official said, although military planes continued flying at the maximum allowed level of risk there.

‘God, thank you for this big miracle’

Amid the despair, there were moments of joy.

In Cebu, Fritz Anosa was reunited with his parents, who live in the hard-hit city of Guiuan where the storm made its first landfall in the Philippines. They were able to make it onto a Philippines Air Force C-130 making a return flight to deliver aid to the devastated community.

“When I first saw them, I was just so happy that we all broke down in tears,” he said. “When I saw them, it was like, ‘God, thank you for this big miracle.’”

Late Tuesday, CNN iReporter Debra Thomas found Sebastian Makison, the young man she has raised since high school. He was in the Philippines for volunteer work. Family members worked through Facebook and Twitter to find him, and a volunteer worker saw the posts and connected them. They visited over Skype late Tuesday night, bringing tears of joy.

“I am praying for the rest of the families and I hope they are as lucky as we are,” Thomas said.
TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Chicago’s Filipino community has mobilized a series of fundraising and donation drives for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

In Des Plaines, Allegretti’s Pizza collected cash for disaster relief; and on Chicago’s north side, emergency food and supplies are being gathered for an airlift.

Hundreds of people have visited the Filipino-American Council to drop off clothing, medicine, blankets, candles, flashlights, batteries, canned goods, and of course, can openers.

For many Filipino-Americans, the most difficult part of the crisis is not knowing the fate of their loved ones, and not being able to communicate with them.

By Ivan Watson. Paula Hancocks and Ben Brumfield, CNN

Typhoon Haiyan has killed too many people to count so far and pushed to the brink of survival thousands more who have lost everything, have no food or medical care and are drinking filthy water to stay alive.

typhoonhaiyanaftermathBy Tuesday, officials had counted 1,774 of the bodies, but say that number may just be scratching the surface. They fear Haiyan may have taken as many as 10,000 lives.

The storm has injured 2,487 more since it made landfall six times last Friday, the government said. It has displaced at least 800,000 people, the U.N. said Tuesday.

As authorities rush to save the lives of survivors four days after Haiyan ripped the Philippines apart, a new tropical low, Zoraida, blew in Tuesday delivering more rain, the Philippine national weather agency PAGASA reported.

Zoraida is not a strong storm, but has dumped just under four inches of rain in some places, CNN meteorologists say.

It is holding up desperately needed aid in at least one province, Iloilo, where Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. has grounded relief flights until it has passed.

Zoraida also slowed air aid in the neighboring province of Cebu, an official said, although military planes continue flying at the maximum-allowed level of risk there.

An earthquake also rattled part of the affected area. The 4.8 magnitude temblor shook San Isidro Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

As night falls Tuesday, darkness will further hamper flights, said Lt. Col. Marciano Jesus Guevara. Unless runways are lit, pilots will not be permitted to land. Electricity is out throughout devastated areas, and it may take months to restore it, authorities said.

Boats and trucks will still operate, but like in many areas, whole houses, vehicles, trees and high piles of debris cover miles of roadways in affected regions.

It will take heavy machinery and much time to clear them, and although international supplies have begun to arrive at airports, much of it is still not getting through to people who need it most.

Acts of desperation

More than 2 million people need food aid, the Philippine government said. Nearly 300,000 of them are pregnant women or new mothers.

Tomoo Hozumi, the Philippines’ UNICEF representative, said food, shelter, clean water and basic sanitation were “in a severe shortage.”

“The situation on the ground is very hideous,” he told CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

The lack of food and water drove famished survivors to desperate measures.

They’ve taken food and other items from grocery and department stores in Tacloban, a city of more than 200,000, that Haiyan — called “Yolanda” in the Philippines — has laid to waste. Authorities there have counted 250 bodies so far.

Shop owners in the capital of the devastated province of Leyte have organized to defend their wares with deadly force, said local businessman Richard Young.

“We have our firearms. We will shoot within our property,” he said.

Authorities have sent police and military reinforcements to try to bring the situation under control.

Soldiers shot dead two members of a communist militant group, the New People’s Army, on Tuesday when they ambushed a government aid convoy, Philippine state news agency PNA reported.

The Philippines Armed Forces added 700 troops to its force in Tacloban Tuesday, it said, bringing the total to 1,000. That includes 300 special forces troops and military engineers.

The army will fly aid to survivors in remote areas around the city with 11 helicopters and as many trucks.

“We can’t wait,” said Martin Romualdez, the area’s congressman. “People have gone three days without any clean water, food and medication,” he told CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live.” “People are getting desperate.”

The exodus from the ravaged areas is adding to road congestion, further slowing help from getting in.

Bodies everywhere

The dead are lying about everywhere.

“We have bodies in the water, bodies on the bridges, bodies on the side of the road,” said Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross. Aid workers see them floating in the water.

Some are crudely covered, others left out in the blazing sun. Some journalists covering the story wear masks to blunt the growing stench as they decompose.

The macabre sight may be the tip of the iceberg.

Many corpses are out of view, mixed up with the rubble spread out as far as the eye can see. Some of them may be buried inside homes covered over by mud and debris.

Worst typhoon?

Typhoon Haiyan may have hit the Philippines with the strongest sustained cyclone winds on record at 195 mph. It is too early for scientists to tell.

Gusts reported at first landfall rose to 235 mph (375 kph) — also a record, if confirmed.

The Philippine ambassador to the United States has lived through many typhoons, but does not recall one worse than Haiyan.

“We have 20 to 24 a year. But we have not seen anything like this in the past,” Jose Cuisia, Jr., told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Storm chaser James Reynolds was shocked by Haiyan, even before the cyclone hit Tacloban, where he awaited its approach.

“My team and I were absolutely speechless about the storm, how strong it was getting,” he said. “You know it was at the extreme upper level of a category 5 if it was in the Atlantic. It was a very frightening thing to witness.”

Extreme weather photographer Jim Edds feels that their frequent exposure to typhoons caused Filipinos to underestimate this monster storm.

“I don’t think they knew what was coming,” he said. “They get typhoons in Philippines all the time. But my estimation is they say, ‘okay, another typhoon. It’s the same drill whether it’s a 1 or a 5.’”

They went through their usual routine of riding out storms, and then the storm surge rolled over them, Edds believes.

Swimming for their lives

That’s what happened to Philippine congressman Martin Romualdez.

He was holed up in his house, as Haiyan’s winds screamed around it, hurling debris at speeds rivaling those of race cars.

“It was mad, and it was so loud, and when you look outside you couldn’t see a thing,” he told Anderson Cooper.

The wind ripped off the roof of the house. He rushed his kids into the shelter of a car standing nearby to protect them from flying objects.

Then the storm surge poured in.

“After a few minutes, I see this water gushing in, gushing in really fast, not thinking that the water was going to be rising,” Romualdez said.

The car began to fill. His children are good swimmers, he said. So, he got out of the car with them, and they, and Romualdez’ staff, swam for their lives as the waves pushed cars and houses along with them.

Storm chaser Reynolds stopped covering the storm to rescue some of its victims.

“It was a really sickening feeling,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “The screams, we could hear them even above the roar of the storm and the smashing of glass.”

He saw a woman breaking a window with her hands to get out of a hotel where she was trapped inside. Reynolds and a colleague rushed to her aid.

Help on the way

Philippine President President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared a “state of calamity” in the stricken areas, which gives the government expanded powers to deal with the crisis, including the fixing of the prices of goods.

Aid pledges began to pour in on Monday — $25 million from the United Nations, $4 million from the European Union, $16 million from Britain and $10 million from the United Arab Emirates, home to a large population of expatriate Filipino workers.

U.N. and U.S. civilian disaster assessment teams were on the scene. U.S. Marines based in Japan worked to outfit Tacloban’s shattered airport with lights, radar and other gear to allow it to operate 24 hours a day.

The United States and the UK have pledged to dispatch Navy vessels to the Philippines to assist in recovery efforts.

Typhoon Haiyan weakened as it left the Philippines but went on to kill 14 more people in Vietnam and five more in China.

Blaming climate change

At the start of a U.N. climate conference in Warsaw Monday, Naderev Saño, climate change commissioner in the Philippines, broke down in tears.

He blamed the typhoon on climate change.

“We can fix this. We can stop this madness,” he said. “Right here, right now. In the middle of this football field. And stop moving the goalposts.”

He promised the Philippine delegation’s support for measures to halt climate change.

Ivan Watson reported from Cebu and Paula Hancocks reported from Tacloban, with Ben Brumfield reporting and writing from Atlanta. CNN’s Matt Smith, Jessica King, Saad Abedine, Jethro Mullen, Catherine E. Shoichet, Neda Farshbaf, Andrew Stevens, Kristie Lu Stout, and Jessica King contributed to this report.

In the wake of the typhoon disaster, people in Chicago with ties to the Philippines are doing their part to help out, organizing fundraisers and donation drives.

Tonight on the North Side,  donations for typhoon disaster relief came in by the armfuls.

Ray Borja helped organize a donation drive on Irving Park Rd just today. It continues tomorrow.  In the next few days, a military C130 will pick up all donations and deliver them to the Filipino people.
“We need candles, flashlights, batteries, clothes,” said Apple Umali, who also helped organize the drive. “ And canned goods that are ready to eat.”

And at Allegrettis Pizzeria in suburban Des Plaines another fundraiser was held.  Donations of money were accepted through the Fellowship for Filipino migrants.  Dozens came to chip in.

It’s a disaster hitting home for the  100,000 Chicagoans of Filipino decent.

The Philippines struggled to bury the dead and get food, water and medicine to the living Tuesday, four days after Super Typhoon Haiyan claimed untold lives and flattened countless buildings.

“Right now, we don’t have enough water,” typhoon survivor Roselda Sumapit told CNN in Tacloban, a city of more than 200,000 that was flattened by the storm. What they can get may not be clean, she said — but she added, “We still drink it, because we need to survive.”

The government put the confirmed death toll at 1,774 early Tuesday but fears as many as 10,000 may have died. Corpses — some crudely covered, others left exposed to the burning sun — added another hellish element to survival in Tacloban, the capital of the southern island province of Leyte.

“We have bodies in the water, bodies on the bridges, bodies on the side of the road,” said Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross.

Troops and aid organizations battled blocked roads and devastating damage to deliver help to stranded Filipinos and search for survivors in the splintered wreckage of homes. Tomoo Hozumi, the Philippines representative of the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF, said food, shelter, clean water and basic sanitation were “in a severe shortage” early Tuesday.

“The situation on the ground is very hideous,” he told CNN’s The Situation Room.

The Philippine government reported early Tuesday that 2.5 million people needed food aid, including nearly 300,000 pregnant women or new mothers. International aid was beginning to work its way to the stricken islands.

typhoon“Our house got demolished. My father died after being hit by falling wooden debris,” one woman told the Philippine television network ANC. “We are calling for your help. If possible, please bring us food. We don’t have anything to eat.”

Gordon said police were needed to guard aid shipments: “Any truck, any helicopter that lands is going to be surrounded by people in need,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.

Compounding the misery, a new tropical depression dumped heavy rain on the area Tuesday morning. The system, dubbed Zoraida by the Philippine meteorological agency, was centered southeast of the southern island of Mindanao, moving northwest with top winds of 55 kilometers per hour (35 mph).

‘Worse than hell’

Haiyan struck Friday, sending a wall of water crashing into neighborhoods of wooden houses along the Gulf of Leyte and flinging large ships ashore like toys. Its top winds were estimated at 315 kph (195 mph) — a figure that could set a new record for tropical cyclones if confirmed.

Magina Fernandez, who was trying to get out of Tacloban at the city’s crippled airport, described the situation there as “worse than hell.”

“Get international help to come here now — not tomorrow, now,” she said, directing some of her anger at Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, who toured some of the hardest-hit areas Sunday.

Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez, who narrowly escaped death during the storm’s fury, said he hadn’t spoken to anyone “who has not lost someone, a relative close to them.”

Aid pledges began to pour in on Monday — $25 million from the United Nations, 3 million euros ($4 million) from the European Union, 10 million pounds ($16 million) from Britain and $10 million from the United Arab Emirates, home to a large population of expatriate Filipino workers.

U.N. and U.S. civilian disaster assessment teams were on the scene. U.S. Marines based in Japan worked to outfit Tacloban’s shattered airport with lights, radar and other gear to allow it to operate 24 hours a day.

The United States also announced that the aircraft carrier USS George Washington and three escort ships have been dispatched to the Philippines to assist in recovery efforts. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the carrier to head for the islands at “best speed” from Hong Kong, where it was on a port visit, the Pentagon said. Two other American vessels, including a supply ship, are already headed for the Phillippines, the Pentagon said.

The U.S. Agency for International Development is sending emergency shelter materials and basic hygiene supplies to aid 10,000 families as well as 55 metric tons of emergency rations sufficient to feed 20,000 children and 15,000 adults for up to five days. Both shipments were expected to arrive this week, the agency said.

And British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Monday night that his government was also sending a cargo plane and the destroyer HMS Daring to assist, he said.

Difficult to assess death toll

But Tacloban is far from the only devastated area. Authorities are trying to establish the level of destruction elsewhere along Haiyan’s path, and other settlements along the coast are likely to have suffered a similar fate to Tacloban’s.

Aid workers said the recovery from Haiyan will take many months.

“This disaster on such a scale will probably have us working for the next year,” said Sandra Bulling, international communications officer for the aid agency CARE. “Fishermen have lost their boats. Crops are devastated. This is really the basic income of many people.”

Across the Gulf of Leyte lies Samar, where Haiyan made its first of six deadly landfalls on the Philippines on Friday. Government and aid officials say they are still trying to reach many affected communities on that island.

A similar challenge exists farther west, on the islands of Cebu and Panay, which also suffered direct hits from the typhoon.

Aquino declared a “state of national calamity,” which allows more latitude in rescue and recovery operations and gives the government power to set the prices of basic goods. Authorities are funneling aid on military planes to Tacloban’s airport, which resumed limited commercial flights Monday. As aid workers, government officials and journalists came in, hundreds of residents waited in long lines hoping to get out.

‘They’ve lost everything’

The problems are the same in other stricken regions.

“The main challenges right now are related to logistics,” said Praveen Agrawal of the U.N.’s World Food Programme, who returned to Manila from the affected areas Sunday. “Roads are blocked, airports are destroyed.”

The need for food and water has led to increasingly desperate efforts. People have broken into grocery and department stores in Tacloban, and local businessman Richard Young said he and others had formed a group to protect their businesses.

“We have our firearms. We will shoot within our property,” he said.

Authorities have sent police and military reinforcements to try to bring the situation under control.

Another dire scene played out in the city’s only functioning hospital over the weekend. Doctors couldn’t admit any more wounded victims because there wasn’t enough room. Some injured lay in the hospital’s cramped hallways seeking treatment.

“We haven’t anything left to help people with,” one doctor said. “We have to get supplies in immediately.”

Complicating the search efforts is the lack of electricity in many parts of the storm’s path.

The northern part of Bogo, in the central Philippines, suffered a blackout Sunday, and authorities said it will take months to restore power.

Storm moves onto Vietnam

Meteorologists said it will take further analysis to confirm whether Haiyan — with gusts reported at first landfall to be up to 235 mph (375 kph) — set a record.

After leaving the Philippines, the storm lost power as it moved across the South China Sea over the weekend. It hit the coast of northern Vietnam early Monday and weakened as it moved inland.

Vietnamese authorities had evacuated 800,000 people, according to the United Nations, and the state-run Vietnam News Agency said five people died there.

Aid workers said Vietnam was likely to avoid damage on the scale suffered by the Philippines but warned that heavy rain brought could cause flooding and landslides in northern Vietnam and southern China.
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Typhoon Haiyan affects local communityThe situation in the Philippines is getting desperate, in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

The strongest storm ever recorded, left massive damage in its wake.

By some accounts, as many as 10,000 people may be dead.

For the survivors, a shortage of food, supplies and especially drinkable water is the most immediate challenge.

The U.S. Marines are helping in the relief effort.

The storm has weakened, and moved on to Northern Vietnam and Southern China.

So many people need medical treatment that some Philippine hospitals have had to stop accepting new patients.

Chicago’s Filipino-American community is organizing fundraisers to help victims of the typhoon.

Starting a 6:00 p.m. Monday, donations will be accepted at Allegretti’s Pizzeria in Des Plaines.

Sunda restaurant in Chicago is holding a fundraising lunch on Friday.  All money goes to the Philippine Red Cross.

Donations also can be made at http://www.redcross.org to help the American Red Cross rescue and relief effort in the Philippines.

 

It could be one of the strongest storms in recorded history.

Typhoon Haiyan has cut a path of devastation in the Philippines. More than one thousand people are feared dead, many more injured and countless affected.

Sally Pulido and her family have been glued to the television.

News reports are their only source of information. Pulido says calls and emails to her dozens of family members in the Philippines have gone unanswered.

Pulido and her family are from a small coastal village about an hour away from Tacloban, one of the areas hardest hit by the typhoon known as “Yolanda” in the Philippines. She fears her village suffered even more damage than the city and even more people hurt or killed.

Locally, members of the Philippine Medical Association are organizing relief efforts for the survivors in the Philippines.

Association president Dr. Nida Blankas-Hernaez says damage to the airport in Tacloban is slowing medical missions but her group is working to raise money to send for supplies.

Various Filipino groups in the Chicago area and across the U.S. are leading fundraising efforts.  Pulido hopes people will see the devastation and give.

Links to help:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/PMAC-Philippine-Medical-Association-in-Chicago/160809777263897

http://www.ndrrmc.gov.ph/

http://www.redcross.org/what-we-do/international-services/where-we-help/asia/philippines

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