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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/11/2013 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Storm ravages Philippines, and then touches down in Vietnam

Typhoon Haiyan, or "Yolanda" as it is known in the Philippines may very well be the strongest tropical cyclone in recorded history. One thing is certain: the devastation wreaked upon the islands that comprise the Philippines is seeing unprecedented devastation. Witnesses there say that in many areas, there is no electricity, food and water. Bodies have been reported scattered on city streets. Medical supplies are in short supply, and the death toll is only expected to soar.

In the Philippines, the International Committee of the Red Cross said it's realistic to estimate that 10,000 people may have died nationally.

In the Philippines, the International Committee of the Red Cross said it's realistic to estimate that 10,000 people may have died nationally.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/11/2013 (8 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Haiyan, Philippines, disaster, scarcity, looting, anarchy


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The storm has since plowed into northeastern Vietnam with powerful winds, forcing thousands to evacuate.

In the Philippines, the International Committee of the Red Cross said it's realistic to estimate that 10,000 people may have died nationally.

AFTER THE UNSPEAKABLE, WE SPEAK HOPE. Support Catholic Online's response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.  DONATE NOW...

"I have not spoken to anyone who has not lost someone, a relative close to them. We are looking for as many as we can," Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez told reporters.

Aid is making its way into the storm-ravaged city of Tacloban. Planes carrying food, water and supplies have arrived, while other planes have carried away body bags with storm victims.

"Get international help to come here now -- not tomorrow, now," one survivor who lost both her home and business pleaded. "This is really, really like bad, bad, worse than hell, worse than hell."

Many are angry at the government of Filipino President Benigno Aquino III and his slow response to the disaster.

"They are necessary first responders, and too many of them were also affected and did not report for work,"President Aquino said. He cited a breakdown, especially at the local government level, which contributed to the slow delivery. He says the government will coordinate with the local units and put more people to work.

As with most natural disasters, looting has become rampant as supplies dwindle away. In the city Tacloban, which has a population of about 200,000, the increasingly desperate search for food and water has led to the theft of stores and markets. National police and the military have sent reinforcements to halt the thefts. Video footage showed people breaking into grocery stores and cash machines in the city.

In the city's only functioning hospital, doctors couldn't admit any more wounded victims as there wasn't enough room. Some of the injured lay in the hospital's cramped hallways seeking treatment.

"We haven't anything left to help people with," one of the doctors said. "We have to get supplies in immediately."

Complicating the search efforts is the lack of electricity in many parts of the storm's path. The northern part of Bogo, in the central Philippines, suffered a blackout.

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That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
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