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Tacloban survivor cries out: 'People of the world, come to my city. We need help very badly'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 13th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Typhoon Haiyan survivors in the Philippines are increasingly desperate for food, water and medical supplies, officials say. The United Nations says more than 11 million people may have been affected and some 673,000 displaced.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In the district of Pawing, outside Tacloban, survivors await fruitlessly for promised for food and water. Nearly every house here has either been flattened, left without roofs or windows. People now try to live in debris that was at one time their homes.

Wet, hungry, and increasingly angry, one long line outside a food warehouse quickly broke down and descended into a free-for-all, people grabbing whatever they could.

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Even more fearful is that the local government has been wiped away in the face of the typhoon. The central government has reportedly taken over the running of Tacloban. Without power or phone communications, people have no idea whether anything is being done for them.

The airport remains functioning. Planes come and go, several every hour. The planes are not bringing much in, only taking people out. Both the Philippine army and police are very visible there, much less so in the rest of the city.

There are still very few signs of an aid program here. Corpses lie uncollected at the end of the airport runway.

Looting is rampant. Looters took more than 100,000 sacks of rice from the government facility in Alangalang, Leyte, Rex Estoperez, a spokesman for the National Food Authority says. There are also reports of gunshots in the devastated streets of Tacloban, a city of 220,000 on Leyte island which was among the hardest hit.

One of the most powerful storms ever recorded on land, Typhoon Haiyan hit the coastal Philippine provinces of Leyte and Samar last Friday. The storm swept through six central Philippine islands before going on to kill several people in Vietnam and southern China.

Disaster management officials in the Philippines have put the confirmed death toll there at 2,275, with another 3,665 injured as of Wednesday. More than 80 people are listed as missing.

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