November 12, 2013

Tons of aid in Philippines, but not where needed

The official death toll from the disaster rose to 1,774 on Tuesday and more than 9 million people have been affected across a large swath of the country.

By Todd Pitman And Jim Gomez
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 2)

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A man walks home with his son Monday, following Friday's devastating typhoon that lashed Hernani township, in eastern Samar province, in the central Philippines.

Photos by the Associated Press

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Survivors look up at a military C-130 plane as it arrives at typhoon-ravaged Tacloban city, Leyte province, in central Philippines on Monday. Stunned survivors of one of the most powerful typhoons ever to make landfall picked through the remains of their homes Monday and pleaded for food and medicine as the Philippines struggled to deal with what is likely its deadliest natural disaster.

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The aircraft carrier USS George Washington is headed toward the region with massive amounts of water and food, but the Pentagon said it won't arrive until Thursday. The U.S. also said it is providing $20 million in immediate aid.

Aid totaling tens of millions of dollars has been pledged by many other countries, including Japan, Australia and Britain, which is sending a Royal Navy vessel with aid.

For now, relief has come to a lucky few, including Joselito Caimoy, a 42-year-old truck driver. He was able to get his wife, son and 3-year-old daughter on a flight out of Tacloban. They embraced in a tearful goodbye, but Caimoy stayed behind to guard what's left of his home and property.

"People are just scavenging in the streets. People are asking food from relatives, friends. The devastation is too much ... the malls, the grocery stories have all been looted, "he said. "They're empty. People are hungry. And they (the authorities) cannot control the people."

The dead, decomposing and stinking, litter the streets or remain trapped in the debris.

The storm also killed eight people in southern China and inflicted hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to farming and fishing industries, Chinese state media reported Tuesday.

The Philippines, an archipelago nation of more than 7,000 islands, is annually buffeted by tropical storms and typhoons, but Haiyan was an especially large catastrophe. Its winds were among the strongest ever recorded, and it may have killed more people than the previous deadliest Philippine storm, Thelma, in which about 5,100 people died in the central Philippines in 1991.

The country's 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 people.

Tacloban is near Red Beach on Leyte Island, where U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur waded ashore in 1944 during World War II and fulfilled his famous pledge: "I shall return." The scene is re-created in a monument on the shore. After the typhoon, one of the seven statues — but not the one of MacArthur himself — was toppled over.

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Additional Photos

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Residents pick up pieces of wood in between two cargo ships washed ashore four days after a super typhoon hit Anibong town, Tacloban city, central Philippines.

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A military helicopter prepares to land to airlift relief supplies for typhoon victims, in Tacloban city, central Philippines.

 


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