After the Typhoon: Survivors Desperately Try to Stay Alive

Reports from Tacloban suggest that survivors, desperately trying to stay alive in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, have begun raiding and grabbing supplies wherever possible. Amidst reports of wide-spread looting, President Benigno Aquino III is reportedly considering declaring a state of emergency in the city of Tacloban.

The LA Times quotes a Danish survivor who says that residents, desperate to survive, have begun looting anything of value.

“The city is outlaw now — this is why we had to run,” Larsen said. “Everything is being looted. Rotten apples can do now what they want. There is no law enforcement; [it’s] a free-for-all. Nobody feels safe, even the Filipinos. And so many have lost their families... Hotels, everything — cash registers, even McDonalds — everything is looted. Anything that has any value. It’s like a movie.”

Fox News reported that trucks carrying relief supplies were stopped and raided — although the city's infrastructure has been so gutted that officials say the damage has largely hampered those hoping to offer aid.


The AP has an updated list of current relief efforts.

[image via AP]


10,000 Feared Dead in Philippines

The devastation of Typhoon Haiyan became clearer Sunday morning, with officials believing one of the most powerful storms ever recorded left a death toll that exceeds 10,000.

The city of Tacloban, with a population of 220,000, was completely destroyed by the storm surge, which sent waves as high as 13 feet through the city.

"There is no power, no water, nothing," Voltaire Gazmin, the Philippines defense secretary told reporters. "People are desperate. They're looting."


Rescue efforts and a true picture of the devastation have been hampered by the severity of the storm: Local law enforcement were missing and communications were completely lost with much of the affected areas. Looting has spread across the devastated areas, as the damage has left people without water, food, electricity, or any semblance of a functioning infrastructure. CNN reports that attempts to get food to survivors were delayed by debris blocking airports and washed out roads.

"We really are having access problems," hilippine National Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon told CNN. "It really is an awful, awful situation."


"The last time I saw something on this scale was in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami," Sebastian Rhodes Stampa, the head of a United Nations disaster assessment team sent to the area. "This is destruction on a massive scale. There are cars thrown like tumbleweed."

The storm, which hit early Friday morning, moved quickly through the Philippines, before heading to the West, where it now threatens Vietnam. The cyclone might have been the most powerful in history, hitting the nation of islands at over three times the strength of Hurricane Katrina.

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