October 27, 2020

UPDATED: Thousands likely dead after Philippines typhoon – Premier’s message


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An aerial view shows damaged houses, as residents wave for help after Typhoon Haiyan hit a village in Panay islandUPDATE: November 10 2013

Thousands likely dead after Philippines typhoon

From Fox news

Authorities expect a “very high number of fatalities” after one of the strongest typhoons on record devastated the central Philippines, cutting communications and severely damaging an airport in one of the hardest-hit regions.

Two days after Typhoon Haiyan hit, the death toll is feared to be rising into the thousands. As many as 10,000 people are believed dead in Tacloban, the Leyte provincial capital of 200,000 people and the biggest city on Leyte Island.

Regional police chief Elmer Soria said he was briefed by Leyte provincial Gov. Dominic Petilla late Saturday and was told that there may be 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 the storm hit.

Reports also trickled in from elsewhere on the island, and from neighboring islands, indicating hundreds, if not thousands more deaths, though it will be days before the full extent of the storm’s impact can be assessed. About 300 to 400 bodies have already been recovered.

A mass burial was planned Sunday in Palo town near Tacloban, which is located about 360 miles southeast of the capital of the Philippines, Manila. It was one of six islands slammed by the storm.

Haiyan hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippine archipelago on Friday and quickly barreled across its central islands before exiting into the South China Sea, packing winds of 147 miles per hour that gusted to 170 mph, and a storm surge that caused sea waters to rise 20 feet.

By those measurements, Haiyan would be comparable to a strong Category 4 hurricane in the U.S., nearly in the top category, a 5.

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.

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

Earlier, the Philippine Red Cross told Reuters that based on reports it estimated at least 1,200 were dead in Tacloban and 200 more in Samar Province.

“The rescue operation is ongoing. We expect a very high number of fatalities as well as injured,” Interior Secretary Max Roxas said. “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 said the casualties “will be substantially more,” 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.

Rescue crews reported difficulty in delivering food and water to affected areas due to damaged roads and fallen trees.

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 airport in Tacloban looked like a muddy wasteland of debris Saturday, with crumpled tin roofs and upturned cars. The airport tower’s glass windows were shattered, and air force helicopters were flying in and out at the start of relief operations.

“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 she passed “well over 100” dead bodies along the way.

Andrews said the seaside airport terminal was “ruined” by storm surges.

Television images showed residents of Tacloban wading through flooded streets littered half-submerged cars, Reuters reported. Corpses hung from tree branches and were scattered along sidewalks and among flattened buildings, while looters raided grocery stores and gas stations in search of food, fuel and water.

“Almost all houses were destroyed, many are totally damaged. Only a few are left standing,” Major Rey Balido, a spokesman for the national disaster agency, told Reuters.

“A lot of the dead were scattered,” added Joseph de la Cruz, who hitched a ride on a military plane after walking eight hours to reach the airport.

At least 20 bodies were taken to a church in nearby Palo town that was used as an evacuation center but had to be abandoned when its roofs were blown away, the TV network GMA reported. TV images showed howling winds peeling off tin roof sheets during heavy rain.

Ferocious winds felled large branches and snapped coconut trees. A man was shown carrying the body of his 6-year-old daughter who drowned.

“I saw those big waves and immediately told my neighbors to flee. We thought it was a tsunami,” Floremil Mazo, a villager in southeastern Davao Oriental province, told Reuters.

Nearly 800,000 people were forced to flee their homes and damage was believed to be extensive. About 4 million people were affected by the typhoon, the Philippine Red Cross said.

The Philippines is annually buffeted by tropical storms and typhoons, which are called hurricanes and cyclones elsewhere on the planet. The nation is positioned alongside the warm South Pacific where typhoons are spawned. Many rake the islands with fierce winds and powerful waves each year, and the archipelago’s exposed eastern seaboard often bears the brunt.

Even by the standards of the Philippines, however, Haiyan is a catastrophe of epic proportions and has shocked the impoverished and densely populated nation of 96 million people. Its winds were among the strongest ever recorded, and it appears to have killed many more people than the previous deadliest Philippine storm, Thelma, which killed around 5,100 people in the central Philippines in 1991.The 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.

The typhoon’s sustained winds weakened Saturday to 101 mph with stronger gusts as it blew farther away from the Philippines toward Vietnam.

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.

“The devastation is … I don’t have the words for it,” Roxas said. “It’s really horrific. It’s a great human tragedy.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement that America “stands ready to help,” and the president of the European Commission said a team had been sent to “contribute with urgent relief and assistance.”

“The storm surge came in fairly high and there is significant structural damage and trees blown over,” said U.S. Marine Col. Mike Wylie, who is a member of the U.S.-Philippines Military Assistance Group based in Manila.

For more on this story go to:


Message from the Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin, MBE, JP, MLA concerning Typhoon Haiyan

Good morning,

Many of us awoke this morning to news of devastation in the Philippines from Super Typhoon Haiyan.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of the Philippines as they come to the terrible realization of what will more than likely be increased death toll numbers and the long road ahead to rebuild.

As most of you know we have many people from the Philippines who live with us in the Cayman Islands. To them, we also offer our prayers and condolences. We know well the frustration of living through and surviving a major storm; we can only imagine the feeling of helplessness as the Filipinos in our community try to make contact with their loved ones, read about the destruction on social media and receive information they don’t know to be real or rumour.

If you know of someone in our community who has been affected by this terrible storm, please reach out to them.

Many Filipinos in the Cayman Islands were here to help Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac rebuild after Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Paloma in 2008. While we can’t be in the Phillipines to help them recover, we can offer human compassion to those here who are hurting because of this destructive typhoon.

Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Typhoon Haiyan kills up to 1,200 in Philippines

From Sunshine de Leon, Doyle Rice and Gary Strauss, USA TODAY

MANILA — Up to 1,200 people have died as a result of Super Typhoon Haiyan, the Philippine Red Cross said Saturday, according to Reuters and CNN.

Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, crashed across the central islands of the Philippines Friday before heading west toward Vietnam.

There were reports of widespread power outages, flash floods, landslides and scores of buildings torn apart. Capt. John Andrews, deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Authority, said civil aviation authorities in Tacloban reported that the seaside airport terminal was “ruined” by storm surges, though military planes were still able to land with relief aid.

Because communications in the Philippines were cutoff, it remained difficult to determine the full extent of casualties and damage.

“We expect the level of destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan to be extensive and devastating, and sadly we fear that many lives will be lost,” said Anna Lindenfors, Philippines director of Save the Children.

“With this magnitude we know that the destruction is overwhelming,” said Emma Amores, who was waiting outside Villamor Airbase in Manila, where a C-130 was loading relief supplies and personnel heading to hard-hit Tacloban. “From the images we saw on TV, it’s highly likely our houses are gone. We just want to know that the family are all safe.”

Romil Elinsuv, who is in Manila for work training, worried about his wife and 4-year-old son who are at their home in Palo, a town in the province of Leyte.

“I feel fear. I don’t know what the situation is there,” Elinsuv said. He said he spoke with his wife the day before. She assured him they were OK, but then the line went dead, and he’s been unable to reach her since.

The category-5 storm made landfall Friday morning at Guiuan, a small city in Samar province in the eastern Philippines. Weather officials said Haiyan, known as Yolanda in the typhoon-prone Philippines, had sustained winds of 147 mph with gusts of 170 mph when it made landfall.

Haiyan’s sustained winds weakened Saturday to 101 mph. The center of the storm was moving away from the Philippines and into the South China Sea, but high winds were still battering the country. The storm was expected to make landfall Sunday morning in central Vietnam.

For more on this story go to:


Earlier related story:

Typhoon Haiyan kills at least 100

From Rosemarie Francisco, From Stuff.co.nz

One of the strongest typhoons ever to make landfall churned through the Philippine archipelago in a straight line from east to west and devastated central provinces, killing at least 100 people in a surge of flood water, officials said on Saturday.

The death toll from Typhoon Haiyan is expected to rise sharply as rescue workers reach areas cut off by the fast-moving storm, whose circumference eclipsed the whole country and which late on Saturday was heading for Vietnam.

Screen shot 2013-11-09 at 8.27.15 AMRoads in the coastal city of Tacloban in the central Leyte province, one of the worst-hit areas, were either under water or blocked by fallen trees and power lines and debris from homes blown away by Haiyan.

Bodies covered in plastic were lying on the streets.

“The last time I saw something of this scale was in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami,” said Sebastian Rhodes Stampa, head of the UN Disaster Assessment Coordination Team sent to Tacloban.

“This is destruction on a massive scale. There are cars thrown like tumbleweed and the streets are strewn with debris.”

Screen shot 2013-11-09 at 8.27.24 AMThe category 5 “super typhoon” weakened to a category 4 on Saturday, though forecasters said it could strengthen again over the South China Sea en route to Vietnam.

Authorities in 15 provinces in Vietnam have started to call back boats and prepare for possible landslides. Nearly 300,000 people were moved to safer areas in two provinces alone – Da Nang and Quang Nam – according to the government’s website.

The Philippines has yet to restore communications with officials in Tacloban, a city of about 220,000, but a government official estimated at least 100 were killed and more than 100 wounded.

Screen shot 2013-11-09 at 8.27.30 AMThe national disaster agency has yet to confirm the toll but broken power poles, trees, bent tin roofs and splintered houses littered the streets of the city about 580 km southeast of Manila. The airport was destroyed as raging seawaters swept through the city.

“Almost all houses were destroyed, many are totally damaged. Only a few are left standing,” said Major Rey Balido, a spokesman for the national disaster agency.

Local television network ABS-CBN showed images of looting in one of the city’s biggest malls, with residents carting away everything from appliances to suitcases and grocery items.

Screen shot 2013-11-09 at 8.28.27 AMAbout a million people took shelter in 37 provinces after President Benigno Aquino appealed to those in the typhoon’s path to leave vulnerable areas.

“For casualties, we think it will be substantially more,” Aquino told reporters.


Officials started evacuating residents from low-lying areas, coastlines and hilly villages as early as three days before the typhoon struck on Friday, helping to limit the loss of life, several officials said. But not all headed the call to evacuate.

Screen shot 2013-11-09 at 8.28.58 AMI saw those big waves and immediately told my neighbours to flee. We thought it was a tsunami,” said Floremil Mazo, a villager in southeastern Davao Oriental province.

Meteorologists said the impact may not have been as strong as feared because the storm was moving so quickly, reducing the risk of flooding and landslides from torrential rain, the biggest causes of typhoon casualties in the Philippines.

Ferry services and airports in the central Philippines remained closed, hampering aid deliveries to Tacloban, although the military said three C-130 transport planes managed to land at its airport on Saturday.

Screen shot 2013-11-09 at 8.28.46 AMAt least two people were killed on the tourist destination island of Cebu, three in Iloilo province and another three in Coron town in southwestern Palawan province, radio reports said.

“I never thought the winds would be that strong that they could destroy my house,” LynLyn Golfan of Cebu said in a television interview while sifting through the debris.

By Saturday afternoon, the typhoon was hovering 765 km west of San Jose in southwestern Occidental Mindoro province, packing winds of a maximum 185 kph, with gusts of up to 220 kph.

The storm lashed the islands of Leyte and Samar with 275-kph wind Screen shot 2013-11-09 at 8.28.36 AMgusts and 5-6 metre waves on Friday before scouring the northern tip of Cebu province. It weakened slightly as it moved west-northwest near the tourist island of Boracay, later hitting Mindoro island.

Haiyan was the second category 5 typhoon to hit the Philippines this year after Typhoon Usagi in September. An average of 20 typhoons strike every year, and Haiyan was the 24th so far this year.

Last year, Typhoon Bopha flattened three towns in southern Mindanao, killing 1,100 people and causing damage of more than $1 billion.

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