Super typhoon Haiyan - ALERTNET

Super typhoon Haiyan

Latest news, aid agency responses, pictures, videos and blogs from the Philippines where super typhoon Haiyan has killed at least 10,000 people and drove more than 600,000 from their homes

  • Here is a non-exhaustive list of donations and efforts compiled by Reuters from different countries and organisations, supplementing supplies being flown in from elsewhere in the Philippines.

    - AUSTRALIA announced a A$10 million ($9.3 million) package, including medical personnel and non-food items such as tarpaulins, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, water containers and hygiene kits.

    - BRITAIN announced a 10 million pound ($16 million) package to aid up to 500,000 people, including temporary shelter, water, plastic sheeting and household items, as well as military aid.

    - NEW ZEALAND will give NZ$2.15 million ($1.7 million) in aid.

    - JAPAN will give $10 million in aid, including goods such as tents and blankets. A 25-strong emergency medical relief team has already been dispatched.

    - SOUTH KOREA will provide financial aid worth $5 million and dispatch a 40-member disaster relief team.

    - INDONESIA is to dispatch aircraft and logistical aid including personnel, drinking water, food, generators, antibiotics and other medication.

    - The arrival of the U.S. carrier and its aircraft will speed up the distribution of aid and ensure injured survivors can be evacuated to hospitals in unaffected parts of the country. The UNITED STATES is providing $20 million in immediate humanitarian assistance and has sent a team of about 90 Marines and sailors, part of a first wave of promised U.S. military assistance.

    - The U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (USAID) is sending emergency shelter and hygiene materials. It is sending 55 tons of emergency food to feed 20,000 children and 15,000 adults for up to five days. The U.S. EMBASSY is sending $100,000 for water and sanitation support.

    - The EUROPEAN COMMISSION said it would provide eight million euros ($11 million) to help worst-affected areas.

    - The CHINESE government is providing $100,000 and the Chinese Red Cross a further $100,000.

    - THE VATICAN pledged 3 million euros ($4 million), adding to $150,000 given by the Pope and 100,000 euros ($134,000) by Catholic charity Caritas.

    - INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE, a U.S.-based aid agency, will dispatch an emergency team and has launched a $10 million appeal for aid.

    - MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES is strengthening its teams with an additional 30 people including medical personnel, logisticians and psychologists arriving in coming days. MSF is also sending 200 tonnes of medical and relief items.

    - THE U.N. CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF) is airlifting $1.3 million worth of supplies, including water purification tablets, soap, medical kits, tarpaulins, and micro nutrient supplements.

    - THE WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME is airlifting 44 tons of high-energy biscuits, enough to feed 132,000 people for a day, as well as emergency supplies and communications equipment.

    - The U.N. REFUGEE AGENCY is organising an emergency airlift to send aid and supplies.

    - THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT MOVEMENT is appealing for 87 million Swiss francs ($94.6 million) to provide 100,000 families with food, water, shelter and other essential relief for 18 months.

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  • UNICEF is sending therapeutic food for children, health kits and water and hygiene kits, and redeploying staff already in the Philippines to the hardest hit areas. Another $1.3 million worth of emergency supplies is being airlifted to the Philippines from the UNICEF supply centre in Copenhagen, while additional UNICEF emergency aid workers and supplies from other countries will also be sent to respond to the disaster.

    “The first priorities are focused on life-saving interventions – getting essential medicines, nutrition, safe water and hygiene to children and families. Our utmost efforts will be to help ensure that the vulnerable and affected children are protected,Tomoo Hozumi, the UNICEF representative in the Philippines, said in an appeal for donations.

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  • Update from the World Food Programme (WFP):

    - WFP is organising airlifts from its network of humanitarian emergency hubs, particularly from Dubai, UAE and Subang, Malaysia.

    - WFP is providing airlifts to humanitarian groups. From the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Dubai, it has dispatched shelter items to Cebu on behalf of Catholic Relief Services and another consignment of shelter equipment will leave Tuesday on behalf of Irish Aid.

    - Of the initial 201 metric tons of High Energy Biscuits allocated for the first phase of the response, 44 metric tons have arrived in Manila for onward transport to Tacloban. The remaining 161 metric tons are expected in the Philippines in the coming days.

    - WFP will provide 1,000 metric tons of these biscuits in the early stages of the response because they are light, nutritious, easy to transport and do not require cooking.

    Follow WFP on Twitter @wfp_media @WFP_Philippines, @WFP_Asia

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  • The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is appealing for 87 million Swiss francs ($94.6 million) to assist the estimated 10 million people affected by the strongest typhoon ever to make landfall in recorded history.

    Within the overall appeal, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is asking for 72 million Swiss francs to provide 100,000 families with food, clean water, shelter and other essential relief over a period of 18 months.

    And the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is seeking 15 million Swiss francs specifically for areas already affected by armed conflict.

    “Samar Island has suffered unimaginable destruction and will be the main focus of our initial response,” said Alain Aeschlimann, ICRC head of operations for the region. “This includes delivering essential aid such as food, water, shelter and basic health care. We will also help separated family members contact each other, and work with the authorities to provide reasonable conditions for detainees.
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  • Some strong images from Reuters in our slideshow

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  • "There are hundreds of other towns and villages stretched over thousands of kilometres that were in the path of the typhoon and with which all communication has been cut. No one knows what the situation is like in these more rural and remote places, and it's going to be some time before we have a full picture."
    Natasha Reyes, emergency coordinator in the Philippines at Medecins Sans Frontières, in the latest update from Reuters correspondents Andrew R.C. Marshall and Manuel Mogato "U.S. and Britain send warships to help Philippine relief efforts"

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  • The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has a website on the response to Typhoon Haiyan, which has affected an estimated 9.8 million people in nine provinces across the central Philippines.

    In a situation report, Imogen Wall, OCHA's coordinator for Communications with Affected Communities, writes:

    "No electricity or communication is reported across the most affected areas:  Eastern Samar, Leyte, Oriental Mindoro, Masbate, Sorsogon, Negros, Capiz, Romblon and Busuanga. Phone networks have begun to be restored in some areas but coverage remains very patchy.

    "Very little information is available regarding impact on local media but early indications are that local media has been badly impacted with radio and TV stations knocked off air."

    Wall also details the following deployments:

    - Vodafone Instant Network, a project that restores mobile access for survivors, has deployed two teams - one from London and one from New Zealand.

    - First Response Radio is planning to deploy an emergency radio station, partnering with  Far East Broadcasting Co. Philippines. A team of 5 people will deploy from Manila as early as Nov 12th or 13th to Tacloban City, taking their "Suitcase Radio" set up that is a completely contained FM radio station and studio. The FM station should cover up to 10 km around the city and beyond. They are hoping to set up at the Tacloban coordination centre at police headquarters and after the first few weeks to bring in a larger FM transmitter to reach up to 20 km if needed. has established a person finder in partnership with the Philippines Red Cross.
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  • Britain's Disasters Emergency Committee, a coalition of major UK aid charities, has launched an appeal to help the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.

    Find out how you can donate here:
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  • Interesting comments from the head of the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk
    Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, on typhoon Haiyan this morning:

    "The Philippines has borne the brunt of this extreme weather event but the fact of the matter is that it could be repeated in many other coastal locations around the world and especially in Asia.
    It is clear that the world is in uncharted territory when it comes to disaster events like Typhoon Haiyan and there is a need for a dramatic scaling up of our efforts to protect vulnerable populations and exposed assets from the threat of natural hazards.

     "There is an urgent need to revisit the links between disasters and poverty. It is clear that education, early warnings, urban planning and building codes are key issues for renewed consideration in a world where all bets are off in terms of disaster impacts. Typhoon Haiyan is a major setback for those of us who thought that the world was becoming more successful in reducing loss of life from major weather events.

     "Changes to the built environment combined with the influence humankind is having on climate change makes it likely that we will see more unpredictable and unprecedented weather events where storm surges, violent winds and heavy rains will combine to undermine development efforts.

     "This is an unparalleled tragedy on a par with the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 which led to a revolution in official attitudes towards disaster risk and paved the way for agreement on the world's first-ever global framework for disaster risk reduction, the Hyogo Framework for Action which is about to be replaced.

    "The greatest honour we can pay to those who have lost their lives and their homes in this tragedy is to ensure that everything possible is done to address the underlying risk factors which resulted in such huge loss of life. This event will have a major impact on the discussions now underway on a new global framework for disaster risk reduction."

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  • Reuters story looks at the probability of climate change leading to more extreme storms like Haiyan:

    "It's just about impossible to attribute a specific extreme event to climate change," said Kevin Walsh, an associate professor of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne.

    But "a fair amount of work has been done that suggests the likelihood of extreme tropical cyclones like Haiyan is likely to increase around the world".
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  • INFOGRAPHIC: International pledges and aid for the Philippines
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  • Philippine forensic workers are now beginning to identify victims of the deadly typhoon. In this Reuters video, Emmanuel Aranas, deputy director of operations at the Philippine National Police Crime Lab, says: "We will try our best to maximize the DVI (Disaster Victim Identification) but we know that the task could be overwhelming because of the sheer number. And we are running out of time."
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  • Dazed survivors beg for help and scavenged for food, water and medicine after a super typhoon kills an estimated 10,0000 in the central Philippines.

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  • Filipinos in New York City await information and pray for their families following Typhoon Haiyan

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  • 5 facts: Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons
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  • The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) launches an appeal for $301 million for the Philippines. According to its action plan:

    Existing information and field observations suggest that the most immediate threats to life are (in rough order of urgency):
    • Lack of safe drinking water
    • Lack of shelter
    • Trauma injuries, especially if untreated
    • Other acute medical conditions (including contagious disease
    • Disruption of treatment for severe acute malnutrition and for severe chronic disease
    • Lack of sufficient food
    • Lack of access to sanitation and personal hygiene
    • Lack of household items and supplies (like fuel), especially for food preparation

    Key capabilities immediately needed to enable fast action to address these include:
    • Air and sea transport of relief goods and personnel
    • Emergency telecommunication
    • Temporary electrical power and fuel
    • Debris removal
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  • Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is the latest humanitarian organisation to launch a fundraising appeal for the Philippines today.
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  • “Injured people have converged on Tacloban airport, where the Philippines military is providing medical care. But they’re under intense pressure, particularly for drugs and supplies, so we will set up a medical team there to support them. People are bringing the injured to the airport from the town by motorbike or on foot, because the roads are blocked with debris – it’s a six-hour walks.

    “As we are able to get more staff into the disaster areas, MSF will move outwards from Tacloban town to the surrounding region and islands. This includes Eastern Samar, which we will need to reach with mobile teams on speed boats and barges, so that we can provide medical treatment and supplies for people along the coastlines” – Dr Natasha Reyes, MSF’s emergency coordinator in the Philippines

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  • The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) says it is receiving reports of growing tension and trauma on the ground in the Philippines, especially among vulnerable women and children. “The current situation is putting people already vulnerable at particular risk. Women and children are begging on the streets for donations, exposing themselves to risk of abuse and exploitation. With power lines still down, the lack of lighting has made women and children at home and in evacuation centres more vulnerable, especially at night,” the report reads.
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  • How would Britain cope with a storm like Haiyan? It’s easy for developed countries to think that the Philippines has suffered so badly because of poor buildings and infrastructure. But think again. If a storm of Haiyan's intensity had struck Britain it would have quite probably been more devastating than the Blitz during World War Two, according to an article in The Times. Winds of 195mph would have ripped apart brick buildings and torn off roofs. High-rise buildings made of reinforced concrete would remain standing, but most of the landscape would be barely recognisable. Millions of trees and power lines would have come down. Transport would be paralysed and most of the country uninhabitable, writes Paul Simons. Haiyan’s sea surge was estimated at 40ft. A big storm surge in the North Sea could have left Central London under water, inundating hospitals, sewers, power stations and parliament. Torrential rains across the country would trigger floods and landslides.
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  • Just in: Britain's Department for International Development (DFID) says it will deploy twelve emergency British medical staff, including surgeons, doctors and nurses to assist with recovery efforts in the Philippines
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  • #Philippines Govt beginning to distribute food packs. Now more military personnel manning the areas. Our @absterabsss reports on #YolandaPH
  • Relief operations are stepped up in Tacloban, where bodies litter the streets, following the powerful typhoon which killed possibly 10,000 people in the city alone

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  • Latest images by Oxfam's staff in the Philippines, documenting devastation caused by typhoon #Haiyan .
  • At U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Kelly Dent, Oxfam’s climate change spokesperson, comments on how the Philippines typhooon should spur negotiators and their governments into action:

    “Oxfam and other agencies are right now working hard to get aid such as clean water and sanitation to communities in the Philippines that have been devastated by the typhoon.

    “Governments are also providing much needed assistance to the relief efforts but this does not absolve them from their responsibilities to work just as urgently here at the Climate Change talks in Warsaw to take appropriate action.

    “They must agree an international mechanism on loss and damage which addresses the impacts of climate change such as loss of life or nations. Rich countries must also spell out how they plan to deliver the promised $100 billion a year by 2020 for climate finance and right here, right now commit money to help poor countries cope with the impacts of climate change. 

    “It is totally unacceptable for governments to ignore this tragic wake-up call - without such urgency and concrete action to drive down emissions and provide climate finance more countries like the Philippines will face the devastating consequences of extreme weather events in the years to come."
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  • NYTimes: Mapping the Destruction of Typhoon Haiyan
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  • VIDEO: Relief operations step up in Tacloban, where as many as 10,000 people are believed dead

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  • Could China's meagre aid to the Philippines dent its image? China's government has promised $100,000 in aid to Manila, along with another $100,000 through the Chinese Red Cross - far less than pledged by other economic heavyweights.

    The United States is providing $20 million and sending an aircraft carrier. Japan has offered $10 million and is sending an emergency relief team, while Australia has donated $9.6 million.

    China is a growing investor in Southeast Asia, but its assertiveness in pressing its claim to the disputed South China Sea has strained ties with the Philippines.

    "The Chinese leadership has missed an opportunity to show its magnanimity," says Joseph Cheng, a political science professor at the City University of Hong Kong. "While still offering aid to the typhoon victims, it certainly reflects the unsatisfactory state of relations (with Manila)."

    Even China's state-run Global Times newspaper, known for its nationalistic editorial views, expressed concern. "China, as a responsible power, should participate in relief operations to assist a disaster-stricken neighbouring country, no matter whether it's friendly or not," the paper said in a commentary. "China's international image is of vital importance to its interests. If it snubs Manila this time, China will suffer great losses."

    A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said China would consider more aid as the situation developed, but did not say why Beijing had offered less than other countries.
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  • "Millions of families have had their lives torn apart by Typhoon Haiyan. They have lost
    everything and desperately need help now," said UN Under-Secretary-General
    for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos.

    "I am concerned that there are thousands of people who need help that we have not
    been able to reach.
    The scale of the destruction is shocking. We must make
    every effort to reach people.

    Amos arrived in the Philippines today and will travel to Tacloban tomorrow, a UN statement said.

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  • Philippines typhoon death toll closer to 2,000 or 2,500, not 10,000, President Aquino says
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  • British Government says it will match pound for pound public donations to leading UK charities raising funds for the Philippines.
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  • Here's the World Bank's Top 10 coastal cities most at risk in terms of overall cost of damage from climate change -- and there are none in the Philippines. Those cities are: 1) Guangzhou, 2) Miami, 3) New York, 4) New Orleans, 5) Mumbai, 6) Nagoya, 7) Tampa, 8) Boston, 9) Shenzen, and 10) Osaka. The top four cities alone account for 43% of the forecast total global losses. Here's the study:
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  • World Bank is in discussions with the Philippine government on ways to help, says World Bank President Jim Yong Kim at a briefing for reporters here in Washington. "We've made clear to the authorities in the Philippines that we'd be prepared to be involved in any way that they find appropriate." Talks include ways to enhance the cash transfer programme , which provides direct resources to poor people. It could increase the speed and volume of the transfers, or remove the conditions, the World Bank president says.
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  • The World Bank also could help with removal of debris, as it did after the Haiti earthquake, Kim says. But the critical issue for the Philippines beyond immediate help is how to build resiliency against future storms, which are increasing in frequency and intensity as climate change scientists have predicted. The cost of major storms on coastlines worldwide today is $6 billion annually but that is forecast to increase to $1 trillion by 2050 in inflation-adjusted terms. Better to invest $50 billion a year now in building resilience to avoid the future costs, as New York City is planning following Hurricane Sandy, Kim says.
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  • Center for Global Development is raising a red flag over how the billions of dollar in aid for Philippines is handled. In a blog post Vijaya Ramachandran says: "We should not help the Philippines like we helped Haiti—we can, and must, help better. Lack of generosity is not the problem. Since the Haitian earthquake, almost $6 billion has been disbursed in official aid, in a country with a population of just under 10 million. On top of that, an estimated $3 billion has been donated to NGOs in private contributions. The United States pledged over $3 billion for relief and reconstruction. Yet almost four years after the quake, there is little to show for this: even the capital, Port-au-Prince, still does not have decent roads, running water, or reliable electricity. An estimated 200,000 to 400,000 Haitians still live in the tents provided by relief agencies soon after the quake."
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  • USAID says the U.S. Government is providing $20 million in immediate humanitarian assistance, including emergency shelter, food assistance, relief commodities, and water, sanitation, and hygiene support. It has activated a Disaster Assistance Response Team and estimates that 9.7 million people have been affected by the storm.
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  • For those wanting to help InterAction, the US alliance of NGOs, has a list of its members collecting money for typhoon victims here
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  • In Leyte province, most hospitals are closed, leaving the population in urgent need of medical attention and drugs. 

    “There is an urgent need for antibiotics, basic cold and cough medication, doxycycline for leptospirosis, and diarrhea medicines” says Odelia Gregorio Arroyo, who coordinates the emergency relief efforts of the Order of Malta in the Philippines together with Malteser International.

    Three tons of medicines are already on their way to the region, Malteser International said
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  • The U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates there are 200,000 pregnant women in need of help in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

    A relative holds newborn baby Beatriz as her mother recuperates at a makeshift birthing clinic in Tacloban, on Nov. 11, 2013. REUTERS/Erik De Castro 
    by alisa.tang

    Emily Sagalis, 21, began having labour pains in the early morning of Monday, Nov. 10, UNFPA said in a news dispatch. The couple walked several kilometres in search of a functioning clinic. A truck picked them up and drove the labouring mother to the Tacloban airport, where amidst the rubble, an area was converted into a makeshift clinic. A military doctor assisted in the safe delivery of baby Beatriz, but said mother and baby were at high risk of infection, and health workers had run out of antibiotics, according to UNFPA.

    In Tacloban City, village health centres were destroyed and the one functioning hospital is overcrowded, UNFPA said. There are too few health workers, as many were impacted by the typhoon.

    UNFPA is mobilising resources to ensure women access to pre- and post-natal care, providing clean delivery kits and supporting rural clinics in eight of the hardest hit provinces. UNFPA said that for the more than 2 million women and girls affected, it is also sending "dignity kits" for their personal hygiene and sanitation needs while they are living in temporary shelters.
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  • A photo that illustrates why it is so hard to reach survivors: it shows the devastation near Roxas City on Panay Island, courtesy of ChildFund International. ChildFund is in Ormoc on Leyte Island and reports 90 percent devastation.

    Erwin Galido, ChildFund’s emergency team leader, said: “There is loss of life and some looting. Food will run out here in three days. If aid doesn’t reach here very soon, people will become desperate and the situation will deteriorate.”

    Read more

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  • From Reuters TV: Philippine security forces exchanged fire on Wednesday with armed men amid widespread looting of shops and warehouses for food, water and other supplies in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan, local television reported. 

    The firefight occurred in the village of Abucay, part of worst-hit Tacloban in Leyte province, said ANC Television. Military officials were unable to immediately confirm the fighting.

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  • Philippine government says Haiyan aftermath its biggest ever logistical challenge & believes it is "doing quite well"
  • USAID says its first aid shipment has arrived in the Philippines and it will begin distributing supplies today with help from the US military. But relief efforts are hampered by the scale of devastation -- damaged roads, debris, downed trees and power lines. No immediate word on where these supplies are going. The USAID's disaster response team and US military have surveyed Tacloban City by air, reporting up to 80 percent of housing and infrastructure are damaged or destroyed, and its deputy leader visited Eastern Samar Province.
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  • American Red Cross says it's sent four people armed with satellite equipment who specialise in telecommunications to the Philippines, and two others for disaster assessment. In the United States, there are about 3.4 million Filipino Americans, many of whom are trying to contact family members there. The Philippine Red Cross is leading the disaster relief group's global response.
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