Typhoon Haiyan: 'Absolute bedlam' in the Philippines (photos, map)

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NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images

A surivor walks among the debris of houses destroyed by Super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban in the eastern Philippine island of Leyte on November 11, 2013. The United States, Australia and the United Nations mobilised emergency aid to the Philippines as the scale of the devastation unleashed by Super Typhoon Haiyan emerged on November 11.

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TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images

Residents (behind) watch as others (front) grab looted goods thrown out from the second floor of a warehouse in the town of Guiuan, Eastern Samar province in the central Philippines on November 11, 2013, only days after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the town on November 8. Philippines rescue workers struggled to bring aid to famished and destitute survivors on November 11 after the super typhoon that may have killed more than 10,000 people, in what is feared to be the country's worst natural disaster.

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NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images

Philippine police and soldiers are deployed to stop rampant looting in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban in the eastern Philippine island of Leyte on November 11, 2013. The United States, Australia and the United Nations mobilised emergency aid to the Philippines as the scale of the devastation unleashed by Super Typhoon Haiyan emerged on November 11.

PHILIPPINES-WEATHER-TYPHOON

NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images

A surivor stands among the debris of a house destroyed by Super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban in the eastern Philippine island of Leyte on November 11, 2013. The United States, Australia and the United Nations mobilised emergency aid to the Philippines as the scale of the devastation unleashed by Super Typhoon Haiyan emerged on November 11.

PHILIPPINES-WEATHER-TYPHOON

JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images

Philppine police commandoes along with relief goods board a US C-130 military plane heading to the disaster struck area of Tacloban, at a military base in Manila on November 11, 2013. Hundreds of Philippine soldiers and police poured into a city devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan on November 11 to try to contain looting that threatens an emergency relief effort.

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NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images

People sit amongst debris next to a ship washed ashore in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan at Anibong in Tacloban, eastern island of Leyte on November 11, 2013. Hundreds of Philippine soldiers and police poured into a city devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan on November 11 to try to contain looting that threatens an emergency relief effort.

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STR/AFP/Getty Images

Pedestrians make their way across a street flooded by rains brought by Typhoon Haiyan in Shangsi, in southwest China Guangxi province on November 11, 2013. At least six people died after Typhoon Haiyan slashed across China's south coast and damaged hundreds of homes, state-run media on November 11, just days after devastating the Philippines over the weekend.

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TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images

This aerial photo shows destroyed houses along the water in the town of Guiuan in Eastern Samar province in the central Philippines on November 11, 2013 only days after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the town on November 8. Philippines rescue workers struggled to bring aid to famished and destitute survivors on November 11 after the super typhoon that may have killed more than 10,000 people, in what is feared to be the country's worst natural disaster.

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NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images

A man paints a message on a baskeball court that reads 'Help SOS We Need Food' at Anibong in Tacloban, eastern island of Leyte on November 11, 2013. Hundreds of Philippine soldiers and police poured into a city devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan on November 11 to try to contain looting that threatens an emergency relief effort.

From the air, some of the devastation in the Philippines city of Tacloban.

Ted Aljibe /AFP/Getty Images

From the air, some of the devastation in the Philippines city of Tacloban.


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The news from the Philippines, where it's feared that last week's powerful Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 10,000 people, isn't getting better as hundreds of thousands of people struggle to survive and authorities struggle to get help to them.

"It's absolute bedlam right now," Richard Gordon, head of the Philippine Red Cross, tells the BBC.

According to the BBC, "a huge international relief effort is under way, but rescue workers have struggled to reach some towns and villages cut off since the storm. 'There's an awful lot of casualties, a lot of people dead all over the place, a lot of destruction,' " Gordon says.

RELATED: Southland Filipino community mobilizing to raise funds in aftermath of Haiyan

On Morning Edition, Lynette Lim of Save the Children described the scene in Tacloban, one of the hardest hit cities. She was there over the weekend. "Complete areas have been totally flattened," Lim said. "It was truly catastrophic."

Reuters reports that:

Dazed survivors begged for help and scavenged for food, water and medicine on Monday, as relief workers struggled to reach victims. ... As President Benigno Aquino deployed hundreds of soldiers in the coastal city of Tacloban to quell looting, the huge scale of death and destruction become clearer as reports emerged of thousands of people missing and images showed apocalyptic scenes in one town that has not been reached by rescue workers. ...

Flattened by surging waves and monster winds up to 235 mph, Tacloban, 360 miles southeast of Manila, was relying almost entirely for supplies and evacuation on just three military transport planes flying from nearby Cebu city.

According to CNN:

Magina Fernandez, one of many survivors who were trying to get out of Tacloban at the city's crippled airport at the weekend, described the situation there as "worse than hell."

"Get international help to come here now — not tomorrow, now," she said. ...

Tacloban was shattered by Haiyan, whose tremendous force brought a wall of water roaring off the Gulf of Leyte. The storm surge leveled entire neighborhoods of wooden houses and flung large ships ashore like toys.

"I have not spoken to anyone who has not lost someone, a relative close to them," said the city's mayor, Alfred Romualdez, who narrowly escaped death during the storm's fury. "We are looking for as many as we can." ...

Fishing communities stretch for miles down the eastern coast of the island of Leyte. ... The other settlements along the coast are likely to have suffered a similar fate to Tacloban.

United Nations officials report that about 9.5 million people in the Philippines have been affected by the typhoon and its aftermath. Around 620,000 were forced from their homes. The number of confirmed deaths — which on Sunday was just over 200 — was by Monday up to about 1,000.

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But as we reported over the weekend, officials are warning that the number of deaths will likely to 10,000.

The U.S. military has joined in the rescue effort. According to Agence France Presse, "in Tacloban, U.S. military C-130 planes full of relief supplies began arriving on Monday afternoon. The planes, with Marines aboard, were the most visible sign of a major international relief effort that had begun to build."

NPR's Anthony Kuhn, who is in Manila, tells our Newscast Desk that the U.S. military is bringing in water, generators and trucks. Foreign governments and aid groups, he adds, "have begun shipping food, medicine and supplies to the hard hit Visayas region on the Philippines' eastern seaboard."

RELATED: How Typhoon Haiyan became so powerful

Meanwhile, as AFP adds, "Haiyan swept out into the South China Sea on Saturday and hit Vietnam on Monday in a significantly weakened state, although still strong enough to uproot trees and tear roofs off hundreds of homes. National disaster officials in Vietnam said no deaths had been reported on Monday, although state media said five people had died during preparations for the typhoon."

You can view a live map of Haiyan's route here: 

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

 

With contributions by KPCC staff

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