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

  • In one ward of Tanauan, the neighborhood chief estimates nearly 10 pct of its 1,176 residents have been lost #Haiyan
  • Thomson Reuters Foundation correspondent Thin Lei Win talks to evacuated survivors who have made their way to Cebu.

    Ricael Ebar Alcover waited eight days before his knee - which had been pierced by a shard of glass when the typhoon hit - was treated.

    Like many other survivors, Alcover made it to an evacuation centre in Cebu, about 250 kms (155 miles) away from his home - hoping for a job and a place to stay.

    "If my injury is healed and Tacloban is safe again, we can go back," he said wistfully. He shrugged when asked when he expects that to happen.

    For more, read: Evacuated Filipino storm survivors face uncertain future on

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  • "I have no more tears to cry" - Joy, a typhoon survivor who lost 10 relatives, including her mother when Haiyan hit

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  • Latest report from the
    N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs puts the number of people displaced by Typhoon Haiyan at 3 million. It says 13 million people are affected by the disaster and almost half a million houses damaged
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  • Divina Bajinting and her daughter Demrail Ann (front), survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan, seek shelter under statues of saints as they wait for the start of Sunday mass at Redemptorist Church in Tacloban city, central Philippines November 17, 2013. REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo

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  • Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan flocked to ruined churches on Sunday, kneeling in prayer under torn roofs as the Philippines faced an enormous rebuilding task from the storm that killed at least 3,681 people and displaced 4 million.

    At Santo Niño Church, near the waterfront in the flattened city of Tacloban, birds flitted between the rafters overhead as women moved through the pews with collection plates. At the end of mass, the Roman Catholic congregation broke into applause.

    Rosario Capidos, 55, sat crying in one row, hugging her nine-year-old grandson, Cyrich.

    Capidos had been sheltering at home with nine other members of her family when Haiyan struck on Nov. 8. As the waters rose, she floated her three grandchildren on a slab of styrofoam through a road flooded with debris and shipping containers to a nearby Chinese temple. Her family survived.

    "That's why I'm crying," she said. "I thank God I was given a second chance to live."

    For more, read: Praying in ruined churches, Filipinos face up to massive rebuilding
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  • "What we know is that climate change is happening and that it is leading to more dramatic, extreme weather events. No country is protected," she said.

    "What we, as humanity, have to gear up to is a mindset of preparedness and prevention and immediate and effective response. And categorically I have absolutely no doubt that the biggest challenge we face as a civilisation is to learn to live in a more fragile world" - Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response 

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  • Check out Lutheran World Relief's November 16th situation report on what's happening in the Philippines and what Lutheran World Relief is doing to respond at
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  • The risk of skin disease, diarrhoea and tetanus are high in storm-hit central Philippines where homes have been flattened and most of the health infrastructure damaged, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Sunday.

    "One of the emergencies in the short-term is to restore a minimum of access to healthcare for the population," said Jean Pletinckx, MSF emergency coordinator who is overseeing the organisation's response to Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda.

    For more, read our story here
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  • As thousands in the Philippines scramble to leave the typhoon stricken city of Tacloban, many residents who fled the devastation are now returning to their villages. REUTERS VIDEO

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  • Scores gather for Sunday morning mass in the Philippines in the aftermath of a Typhoon, as President Benigno Aquino says the government is doing the best it can. REUTERS VIDEO

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  • Bodies are slowly being cleared in typhoon wrecked Philippines and desperate survivors criticise the slow pace of aid distribution. REUTERS VIDEO

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  • “Ten days after Typhoon Haiyan, aid is still quite concentrated on Tacloban city and little aid has reached devastated rural areas on Leyte and Samar islands,” writes François Dumont of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

    According to a Monday morning update, MSF - which has staff in Tacloban, further south on the coastal and inlands areas of Leyte island, Samar island to the east and Panay island to the north - has found an increasing number of diarrhoea patients in Dulag, on the east coast of Leyte island south of Tacloban. Team assessments indicate widespread destruction in cities and on islands to the southwest and west of Tacloban.

    ”In Burauen, a city of 55,000 inhabitants, the situation is disastrous,” Federica Nogarotto, emergency coordinator in south Leyte, says in the update. “Nearly 100 percent of houses are damaged or destroyed and the hospital – formerly a 70-bed referral hospital with surgical capacity – is completely damaged.

    Across the region, MSF is setting up tent and inflatable hospitals, as well as mobile clinics.

    MSF on Samar island:

    • An MSF team of 26 is in Guiuan, eastern Samar, working with local Filipino medical
      staff at a rural health unit for the past three days.
    • At the severely damaged Guiuan public hospital, an MSF logistical team is preparing to set up a tent hospital to provide secondary healthcare. Maternal care, including care for complicated deliveries and c-sections, has been identified as a priority, as most of the secondary healthcare capacity has been destroyed. In the coming days, MSF will start rehabilitation work on the hospital building.

    On Leyte island:

    • In Tacloban a team of eight is being reinforced with 10 additional staff from Cebu – including medical doctors, nurses, logisticians and a psychologist – to prepare the parking lot next to Bethany Hospital for setting up an inflatable hospital, which should be up and running in the next few days with an emergency room, inpatient department, operating theatre, post-operative ward, obstetrics & gynaecology unit, maternity delivery room, psychosocial activities, blood bank, X-ray, and an isolation ward in case of tetanus cases.
    • South of Tacloban, starting on Monday MSF teams will provide primary healthcare at a fixed health post in Palo, and through mobile clinics in Talawan and Talosa, as well as basic care in evacuation centres in Ormoc town and the surrounding district.
    • MSF is deploying a combined mobile clinic and assessment team to the town of Santa Fe, near Tacloban, and will provide medical care in Cebu where people being evacuated from Tacloban are arriving.
    • In Dulag town (population 48,000) on the east coast of Leyte island, the health facility has been partially destroyed and the medical staff report an increasing numbers of patients with diarrhoea.
    • The team plans to set up a tented hospital with surgical capacity in Burauen.
    • Forty-seven tons of cargo arrived in Cebu on Sunday and three trucks loaded with logistical and medical materials are on their way to Burauen by ferry, due to arrive on Monday.

    On Panay island:

    • On Sunday, teams carried out further assessments by helicopter of several small islands northeast of Panay island. The northeastern coastline of Panay and the islands have been severely affected, and teams estimate 90 percent destruction. The immediate needs are for shelter and water, while access to healthcare is also a major concern. MSF expects to see many people with respiratory illnesses and diarrhoea.
    • On Saturday, MSF teams also visited the towns of Balasan, Sara, Bagacai, Estancia and San Dionisio in Iloilo province, where many health facilities are destroyed.
    • MSF plans to establish a base in Estancia and carry out mobile clinics from there. Teams will travel by boat to reach the small islands east of Panay.
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  • Residents dry rice under sunlight outside the Transfiguration Cathedral, which was damaged by super Typhoon Haiyan, in Palo, south of Tacloban in central Philippines, November 17, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

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  • Sorry I'm late in joining the blog. Was in Tacloban for a few days when all comms and power were down, and then have been running around in Cebu for the past few days. The devastation wrought by Haiyan has been unimaginable.
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  • I just met a guy at the military hospital I just met had cuts from corrugated iron sheets, an inch-thick hole in leg from piece of wood and has been in the hospital for 9 days. Yet he shook my hand & thanked me for writing about impact of typhoon so help could come. Needless to say i got teary.
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  • U.N. fears that some Philippine islands hit by typhoon Haiyan have not been reached 10 days after disaster struck and President Benigno Aquino said the scale of suffering "tempted him to despair" - Read more here
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  • One man has pus oozing from an infected knee injury, while the other has an inch-deep hole in the back of his leg. Yet as they lay on hospital beds only 10 days after the world's biggest storm on record destroyed their homes, they tell our colleague Thin Lei Win (@thinink) that they are worried about earning an income again and rebuilding their lives from scratch.
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  • Ian Bremmer, president of political risk firm Eurasia Group, blogs for Reuters on why China has donated so little aid to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan:
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  • Just three pathologists are struggling to identify dozens of decomposing bodies at a mass grave, victims of the strongest typhoon ever recorded, illustrating the scale of the task the Philippines faces in the hardest-hit city of Tacloban
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  • The UK government said that a team of 12 emergency British medical staff deployed by the Department for International Development has arrived in the Philippines. Six of them are now aboard British warship HMS Daring, travelling to hard to reach communities to assess their medical needs.
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  • Thomson Reuters Foundation's South East Asia correspondent Thin Lei Win reports from Tinago Evacuation Centre near the port of Cebu in the Philippines:
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  • Thomson Reuters Foundation's South East Asia correspondent Thin Lei Win speaks to Medecins Sans Frontieres’s emergency coordinator in the Philippines, Jean Pletinckx:
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  • Just to recap: these are the latest statistics from UN OCHA, based on government figures
    • Typhoon Haiyan has s affected between 10 million and 12.9 million people in nine regions, with nearly 40 per cent of affected people from Central Visayas. 
    • Estimates by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) project that over 4 million people have been displaced, of whom 3.6 million are living outside evacuation centres in Eastern and Western Visayas alone. 
    • Additional evacuation centres have opened in these regions, bringing the total to 1,562 evacuation centres in affected areas. 
    • DSWD also estimates that over 1 million houses sustained damage, with over 490,000 completely destroyed.
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  • Transport logistics update, as reported by Lutheran World Relief in their situation report published today:

    "As of November 17, the Armed Forces of the Philippines had reported that all airports in affected areas are operational. However, operations are limited at the Tacloban airport, and
    Capiz Province’s Roxas airport is only open during the day. Airports in Ormoc, Guiuan and Borongan in Leyte and Eastern Samar are open to C130 aircraft transporting relief supplies."
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  • A report from NBC news asks why the Philippines wasn't more prepared, and suggests shoddy construction and government corruption were partly to blame.

    "Historically, Filipinos adapt to the climate... They get through the storms and rebuild if they have to. But this is not sustainable in the long run," Toby Monsod, an economics professor at the University of the Philippines in Manila, told NBC news. "We need to invest in technological solutions like low-cost housing with climate-proof materials."

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  • The Wall Street Journal reports that Typhoon Haiyan displaced an estimated 4 million people in the Philippines — more than the number displaced by Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean tsunami combined, posing an unprecedented challenge to the government and relief agencies.

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  • The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports in its latest situation report, number 12 dated Monday night, that more than a million homes were destroyed, many areas across 10 provinces remain without electricity, and large debris still needs to be cleared.

    • 13 million affected
    • more than 4 million displaced
    • an estimated 518,138 houses destroyed and 552,731 damaged, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development; rehousing displaced people will cost approximately $6  million (262 million Philippine pesos)
    • a shelter assessment in nine municipalities in Leyte province found damage to 90 percent of buildings
    • power has yet to be restored in 124 barangays (smallest administrative unit) in 10 provinces, mostly in Western and Eastern Visayas regions
    • at least 628 schools were damaged, and 893 schools were being used as evacuation centres
    • 5.1 million workers in 36 provinces have lost their livelihoods
    • seven municipalities south of Tacloban and 15 municipalities in Eastern Samar have not received any water and sanitation assistance
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  • Forensic experts work at a mass grave with more than 700 bodies of victims of Typhoon Haiyan just outside Tacloban on Nov. 18, 2013. Authorities estimate more than 3,900 people were killed when Haiyan, one of the largest storms ever recorded, made landfall in the central Philippines and the sea surged ashore. Philippine authorities, the U.S. military and international agencies face a mounting humanitarian crisis, with the number of people displaced by the catastrophe estimated at 4 million. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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  • This is a few days old, but In Focus provides a nice glimpse of the typhoon aftermath.
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  • Five million typhoon survivors are out of work.

    “This figure is equivalent to the population of Norway,” Lawrence Jeff Johnson , director of U.N. International Labour Organization (ILO) in the Philippines, said in a news release. “These are people whose livelihoods have been destroyed and who are now living in uncertainty.

    The ILO is working with the government to ensure those who lost their livelihoods are sought for “emergency employment” to help rebuild the typhoon-hit areas, as well as Bohol, which is recovering from an earthquake.

    “Emergency employment will be critical to clear up the roads and to restore community facilities and infrastructure. Equally important, it will provide people who have lost their livelihoods an opportunity to earn an income and to gain access to social protection while helping to rebuild their communities,” Johnson added.
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  • Every time disasters strike, myths abound, writes our correspondent Alex Whiting. Here are five of the most common, according to the World Health Organization and British Red Cross.
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  • Fortunada Ligado, a survivor of Typhoon Haiyan, lies on a bare bed on which children who found shelter in a public library wrote message asking for help, in Basey, north of Tacloban, on Nov. 19, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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  • Children who survived Typhoon Haiyan play on swings at a devastated area of Basey, north of Tacloban, on Nov. 19, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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  • Every time disasters like typhoon Haiyan strike, myths abound. Here are five of the most common, according to the World Health Organization and British Red Cross
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  • Estimated cost of reconstruction of houses, schools, roads and bridges in typhoon-devastated central Philippines could reach $5.8 billion, a senior official tells Reuters
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  • "We've had people here for a couple of days and I hope that by tomorrow we will be reaching a number of those coastal communities where they still have their boats but we haven't been able to get to them with food so we urgently want to get to them with food. But, in addition to that we have to link it up to our colleagues who are going to help people to plant so that they don't go hungry next year, help to make sure that people have fishing nets so that they can continue with their fishing and of course, immediately, we have to start to do the assessment so that we know what the longer-term damage is and the cost and how that money will be raised." - U.N. disaster chief Valerie Amos

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  • Want to be inspired today? Follow Oxfam's Typhoon Haiyan aid delivery via our amazing team in the #Philippines !
  • It's 103 and counting - that's the number of prisoners on the loose after escaping Tacloban City Jail when a super typhoon devastated the central Philippines, flooded the prison and smashed open the main gate.

    The prisoners had been freed from their cells so that they could seek higher ground, but while some rode the water to the safety of the warden's second floor office, others followed the water out the front door.

    "They swam through," the jail's warden, Joseph Nunez, said as he pointed to the palm of his hand onto which he had jotted down his challenge: 676 inmates before the typhoon hit, 559 at present and 117 at large.

    "We are still missing 117."

    That number had come down to 103 by late Tuesday as some inmates turned themselves in and a team of correction officers, armed with M-16 rifles and 9 mm handguns, hunted down a handful of others on the streets.

    For the full story, read: Jail breakout? Philippine typhoon zone criminals swim out
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  • An inmate speaks to his visiting relatives behind a board showing current number of missing prisoners and those in Tacloban City Jail November 19, 2013. Over 103 inmates are still on the loose after escaping Tacloban City Jail when a super typhoon devastated the central Philippines on November 8, flooded the prison and smashed open the main gate. The prisoners had been freed from their cells so that they could seek higher ground, but while some rode the water to the safety of the warden's second floor office, others followed the water out the front door. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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  • Regions worst-hit account for one-third of the total rice production in the Philippines, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says. Farmers had already harvested much of this year's main season rice crop when Haiyan hit, but the typhoon may have destroyed many storage facilities and their contents. And the crops still growing have been destroyed.
    The typhoon has also badly disrupted planting of the current 2013-2014 secondary season, according to FAO.
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  • Emergency cash-for-work scheme begins in the Philippines to help the estimated five million people who have lost their jobs due to the super typhoon, Thomson Reuters Foundation correspondent Karrie Kehoe writes on

    Lawrence Jeff Johnson, the International Labour Organisation's Philippine Office Director said: "The reconstruction work that lies ahead is enormous. Emergency employment will be critical to clear up the roads and to restore community facilities and infrastructure. Equally important, it will provide people who have lost their livelihoods an opportunity to earn an income."
    by Luke Balleny @TR_Foundation edited by Astrid Zweynert @TR_Foundation 11/19/2013 5:30:51 PM
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  • The Philippine government is strong enough to ensure long-term reconstruction in the wake of devastating Typhoon Haiyan is effective and avoid the aid problems seen after the Haiti earthquake three years ago, the U.S. Agency for International Development head said
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  • The typhoon has caused crop losses worth $110 million and inflicted damage to the agriculture sector of more than twice that figure, preliminary estimates from the FAO, the United Nation's food agency shows
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  • The typhoon has completely devastated the general hospital in the town of Guian, the Foundation's South East Asia correspondent Thin Lei Win reports
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