More Than 10,000 Feared Dead in Philippines Typhoon
Rescuers believe as many as 10,000 people could be dead in a single Philippine city as search efforts continue following one of the worst storms the world has ever seen. Many of the remote areas have been cut off by floods and dangerous conditions so emergency crews fear that the body count will continue to rise as they make their way to the isolated regions. Typhoon Hayian is believed to be one of the deadliest natural disasters in history.
The storm pounded the eastern coastlines of the Philippines on Friday, bringing 170 mile per hour wind gusts and 20 foot sea surges. Within hours, rescuers began to discover hundreds of dead and wounded victims scattered across the storms pathway. Agencies recorded a minute of sustained winds at 195 miles per hour, one of the strongest storms to ever hit any area of the world.
Tacloban, Leyte, the Philippine city hit hardest by the storm, saw thousands of residents perish and a storm surge higher than two stories wipe out their airport terminal. It’s estimated that as much as 80 percent of the city has been destroyed. Tacloban has a population of around 200,000 people. At least 4 million people are believed to have been affected by the storm across the Philippines’ 7,000 islands.
Hayian continued to roll through Asia after causing mass devastation in the Philippines. Though weakened, the storm rolled into Vietnam over the weekend, causing 600,000 people to evacuate. The storm has also hit China, Taiwan, and Micronesia.
The United States has pledged military and humanitarian assistance, deploying troops to aid in the search-and-rescue mission. The United States and many European countries have also pledged significant financial aid to the storm-battered region.
To make the situation worse, many reports of looting have been reported and the province’s governor is considering imposing martial law to attempt to mitigate the chaos. Hundreds of police have been called in to the most ravaged areas to try to keep order.
You can help the recovery efforts by donating to some of the more trusted organizations assisting in the search-and-rescue mission. The Red Cross, UNICEF, and Doctors Without Borders are all raising money to help assist the devastated area.
(Image courtesy of Mans Unides)