Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Typhoon Haiyan: Chaos rules in Tacloban as aid trickles in and armed gangs loot supplies

Days after the typhoon struck, the misery goes on for Philippines families without food, water or medicine

Locals and foreigners board a U.S. military C-130 evacuation flight following the massive Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, central Philippines, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine islands on Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Locals and foreigners board a U.S. military C-130 evacuation flight following the massive Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, central Philippines, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine islands on Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
A survivor writes a message on their port to call for help at typhoon-ravaged Tacloban city, Leyte province central Philippines on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. Authorities said at least 2 million people in 41 provinces had been affected by Friday's disaster and at least 23,000 houses had been damaged or destroyed. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
New-born baby Bea Joy is held as mother Emily Ortega, 21, rests after giving birth at an improvised clinic at Tacloban airport Monday Nov. 11, 2013 in Tacloban city, Leyte province in central Philippines. Bea Joy was named after her grandmother Beatrice, who was missing following the onslaught of typhoon Haiyan. Ortega was in an evacuation center when the storm surge hit and flooded the city. She had to swim to survive before finding safety at the airport. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
BICESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Aid in Oxfam's Emergency Warehouse which is to be shipped to the Philippines to assist the humanitarian crisis following Typhoon Haiya on November 12, 2013 in Bicester, England. Oxfam is initially providing 16 tonnes of aid, with a value of 212,000 GBP, comprising of water, sanitation and emergency shelters. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Typhoon survivors hang signs from their necks as they queue up in the hopes of boarding a C-130 military transport plane Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, in Tacloban, central Philippines. Thousands of typhoon survivors swarmed the airport on Tuesday seeking a flight out, but only a few hundred made it, leaving behind a shattered, rain-lashed city short of food and water and littered with countless bodies. The typhoon, known as Haiyan elsewhere in Asia but called Yolanda in the Philippines, was likely the deadliest natural disaster to beset this poor Southeast Asian nation. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Philippine military personnel secure the airstrip as frustrated families wait for evacuation flights in Tacloban, central Philippines, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. Thousands of typhoon survivors swarmed the airport on Tuesday seeking a flight out, but only a few hundred made it, leaving behind a shattered, rain-lashed city short of food and water and littered with countless bodies. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
A body wrapped in cloth labeled only with a name is left on a pew at St. Michael The Archangel Chapel in Tacloban, central Philippines, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. There is no functioning morgue here, so people have been collecting the dead from Typhoon Haiyan and storing them where they can ? in this case, St. Michael The Archangel Chapel. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 12: A woman carrying a child cries as other survivors of Typhoon Haiyan wait to board a C130 aircraft during the evacuation of hundreds of survivors of Typhoon Haiyan on November 12, 2013 in Tacloban, Philippines. Four days after the typhoon devastated the region many have nothing left, they are without food or power and most lost their homes. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
LEYTE, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 11: Children play beside a damaged jeepney converted into a living quarter in an area devastated by Typhoon Haiyan on November 11, 2013 in Leyte, Philippines. Three days after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the region many have nothing left, they are without food or power and most lost their homes. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
LEYTE, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 11: Survivors collect water from a broken water pipe in an area devastated by Typhoon Haiyan on November 11, 2013 in Leyte, Philippines. Three days after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the region many have nothing left, they are without food or power and most lost their homes. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
LEYTE, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 11: Survivors pass through an area devastated by Typhoon Haiyan on November 11, 2013 in Leyte, Philippines. Three days after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the region many have nothing left, they are without food or power and most lost their homes. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
LEYTE, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 11: A man salvages materials in an area devastated by Typhoon Haiyan on November 11, 2013 in Leyte, Philippines. Three days after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the region many have nothing left, they are without food or power and most lost their homes. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
LEYTE, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 11: Survivors cover their noses due to the stench of uncollected dead bodies still lying on the streets on November 11, 2013 in Leyte, Philippines. Three days after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the region many have nothing left, they are without food or power and most lost their homes. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
LEYTE, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 12: A woman clears debris inside her house in an area devastated by Typhoon Haiyan on November 12, 2013 in Leyte, Philippines. Four days after the Typhoon Haiyan devastated the region many have nothing left, they are without food or power and most lost their homes. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
LEYTE, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 12: Evacuees wait for their flight inside an airport lounge flooded with water in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan on November 12, 2013 in Leyte, Philippines. Four days after the Typhoon Haiyan devastated the region many have nothing left, they are without food or power and most lost their homes. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
LEYTE, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 12: Japanese doctors from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) carry medical supplies on November 12, 2013 in Leyte, Philippines. Four days after the Typhoon Haiyan devastated the region many have nothing left, they are without food or power and most lost their homes. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
LEYTE, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 12: Evacuees wait for their turn to board a military aircraft on November 12, 2013 in Leyte, Philippines. Four days after the typhoon devastated the region many have nothing left, they are without food or power and most lost their homes. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
LEYTE, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 12: Survivors walk over debris as they pass through an area devasted by Typhoon Haiyan on November 12, 2013 in Leyte, Philippines. Four days after the Typhoon Haiyan devastated the region many have nothing left, they are without food or power and most lost their homes. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
SANYA, CHINA - NOVEMBER 11: (CHINA OUT) People make their way in a flooded street on November 11, 2013 in Sanya, China. Typhoon Haiyan, which left a trail of destruction in the Philippines, weakened into a tropical depression and brought gales and rainstorms to South China on Sunday. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)
Rescue workers face a daunting task in the typhoon-battered islands of the Philippines
HMS Daring, which is to be deployed to the Philippines to help the millions of people affected by the devastating typhoon
Residents rebuild their homes Monday Nov. 11, 2013 following Friday's typhoon Haiyan, that lashed Hernani township, Eastern Samar province, central Philippines. 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. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Soldiers stand near relief supplies for victims of Typhoon Haiyan at Villamor Airbase in Manila (AP)
Residents cover their nose from the smell of dead bodies in Tacloban city, Leyte province central Philippines on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. The city remains littered with debris from damaged homes as many complain of shortage of food, water and no electricity since the Typhoon Haiyan slammed into their province. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine provinces Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction and hundreds of people dead. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
IN AIR, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: In this handout from the Malacanang Photo Bureau, an aerial view of buildings destroyed in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 over the Leyte province, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Ryan Lim/Malacanang Photo Bureau via Getty Images)
A girl rests with her family inside their damaged home in Tacloban city, Leyte province central Philippines on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. The city remains littered with debris from damaged homes as many complain of shortage of food, water and no electricity since the Typhoon Haiyan slammed into their province. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine provinces Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction and hundreds of people dead. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) People killed during Typhoon Haiyan are lined up on the side of the road on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***
A resident carries his bicycle past houses damaged by typhoon Haiyan, in Tacloban city, Leyte province central Philippines on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine provinces Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction and hundreds of people dead. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Survivors pass by two large boats after they were washed ashore by strong waves caused by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban city, Leyte province central Philippines on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine islands on Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction and hundreds of people dead. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Residents push a shutter to open a small grocery to get food in Tacloban city, Leyte province central Philippines on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. The city remains littered with debris from damaged homes as many complain of shortage of food, water and no electricity since the Typhoon Haiyan slammed into their province. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Residents carry relief goods in Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. The city remains littered with debris from damaged homes as many complain of shortages of food and water and no electricity since Typhoon Haiyan slammed into their province. Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine islands on Friday, leaving a wide swath of destruction and scores of people dead. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
A resident looks at houses damaged by typhoon Haiyan, in Tacloban city, Leyte province central Philippines on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded slammed into central Philippine provinces Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction and scores of people dead. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
This image provided by NASA shows Typhoon Haiyan taken by Astronaut Karen L. Nyberg aboard the International Space Station Saturday Nov. 9, 2013. Rescuers in the central Philippines counted at least 100 dead and many more injured Saturday a day after one of the most powerful typhoons on record ripped through the region, wiping away buildings and leveling seaside homes in massive storm surges, then headed for Vietnam. (AP Photo/NASA, Karen L. Nyberg)
Cars and debris from damaged houses float along a river in Tacloban city, Leyte province central Philippines on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. The city remains littered with debris from damaged homes as many complain of shortage of food, water and no electricity since the Typhoon Haiyan slammed into their province. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine provinces Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction and hundreds of people dead. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Vehicles and a body lie amongst the devastation caused by typhoon Haiyan, in Tacloban city, Leyte province central Philippines on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine islands on Friday, leaving a wide swath of destruction and scores of people dead. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
A Filipino resident reacts after getting supplies from a grocery that was stormed by people in Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. The city remains littered with debris from damaged homes as many complain of shortages of food and water and no electricity since Typhoon Haiyan slammed into their province. Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine islands on Friday, leaving a wide swath of destruction and scores of people dead. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Local and foreign medical teams prepare to board a Philippines air force C-130 transport plane in Manila, Philippines, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, in search of victims in the areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine islands on Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction and scores of people dead. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Residents carry relief goods past damaged homes in Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. The city remains littered with debris from damaged homes as many complain of shortages of food and water and no electricity since Typhoon Haiyan slammed into their province. Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine islands on Friday, leaving a wide swath of destruction and scores of people dead. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: Residents wade through flood waters on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) People killed during Typhoon Haiyan are lined up on the side of the road on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: Residents evacuate the area on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) People killed during Typhoon Haiyan lay on the side of the road on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: Damaged vehicles in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: Submerged cars sit in flood waters in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: Downed power lines and debris block the road in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: Residents transport bags of rice in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 near Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)
IN AIR, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: In this handout from the Malacanang Photo Bureau, an aerial view of buildings destroyed in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 over the Leyte province, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Ryan Lim/Malacanang Photo Bureau via Getty Images)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: Residents wait on line for fresh water on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: Widespread devastation is left behind in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: A woman looks at what is left of her house in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: (Editors Note: graphic images) A resident in a wheelchair passes by dead bodies lying on the side of a road in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: Residents pass by a damaged truck in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: A man walks through debris in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: A damaged vehicle lies amid debris in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: A woman comes out of her damaged house in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: Affected residents wash their clothes on a canal in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 10: Affected residents wait in line for relief goods at a heavily damaged airport on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 09: Bureau of Fire Protection volunteers pack relief goods bound for hard-hit areas of the southern Philippines at a government warehouse on November 9, 2013 in Manila, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Initial reports say at least 100 people are feared dead in the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)

For the frantic crowds milling at the airport in the typhoon-ravaged Philippines city of Tacloban, the arrival of two air force C130s was a welcome sight. But the cargo planes unloaded more soldiers than relief supplies – and most of the people hoping to board for the return flight to Manila had their hopes of escape from the disaster zone dashed.

“Get back! Get back into the building,” members of a Special Forces unit shouted through megaphones at families who had walked for hours to reach the shattered terminal. Many  wept and begged to be allowed on board.

Although aid is beginning to trickle through to survivors of typhoon Haiyan, at least two-thirds of the estimated 660,000 displaced people are still without food, water and medicines. Aid agencies are still waiting to get staff into Tacloban, the regional capital of Leyte island, which bore the brunt of one of the most powerful storms ever recorded.

President Benigno Aquino said the death toll from the typhoon could be closer to 2,000 or 2,500 instead of the 10,000 that had been reported earlier.

A 15-person Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team of doctors and logistics experts with medical supplies has been waiting since Saturday in Cebu City, the nearest major airport, to get on one of the military planes to Tacloban. Doctors at a clinic set up at the ruined airport in Tacloban are desperate for supplies.

“It’s overwhelming,” air force Captain Antonio Tamayo told Associated Press. “We need more medicine. We cannot give anti-tetanus vaccine shots because we have none.” With many survivors still without clean water, food, shelter and medicines, there are increasing fears of disease outbreaks.

As a massive international aid effort swings ponderously into action – a US aircraft carrier with 5,000 soldiers and more than 80 aircraft is expected to arrive by Friday – questions were being asked about the Philippines government’s preparedness for a natural disaster forecast days before it struck.

Some observers say the impact of such a monstrous storm, with winds of more than 200mph and tsunami-like walls of water, was bound to be severe. Evacuation centres that were supposed to be typhoon-proof were destroyed.

Yet even in Tacloban, the focus of attention since the typhoon struck central Philippines on Friday, the official response has been chaotic. The city no longer has a functioning government, with officials either dead, missing or bereaved. City and hospital workers have reportedly focused on helping their own families and securing food. Only 20 of Tacloban’s 293 police officers are on duty.

“Basically, the only branch of government that is working here is the military,” a Philippines Army captain, Ruben Guinolbay, told Reuters.

Elsewhere, the situation may be even worse. “There are hundreds of other towns and villages stretched over thousands of kilometres that were in the path of the typhoon and with which all communication has been cut,” said Natasha Reyes, MSF’s emergency co-ordinator in the Philippines.

Those places include Guiuan, a fishing village on neighbouring Samar Island which suffered widespread destruction but is only just starting to receive relief supplies. “There are armed thieves going about,” one Guiuan resident told Agence France-Presse. “If they know that you have food stored away, they will force their way into your house and rob you.”

Other residents told of armed men stealing rice. “We’re helpless here. We are so few, and they are so many,” said one Guiuan policeman.

While the widespread looting seen in Tacloban has been curbed by military patrols and a curfew, the threat of violence remains. According to one charity, a man with a machete tried to rob aid workers receiving a delivery of medicines.

Fresh downpours of torrential rain have increased the misery of Tacloban residents, sleeping in the ruins of their homes or in the open. Few tents have arrived. “There is no help coming in,” said Mylene Balute, waiting at the airport. “They know our needs are urgent. Where is the shelter? We don’t know who is in charge.”

Marivel Saraza said she was trying to feed herself, her husband and six children on two kilos of rice and one can of sardines – the only aid she had received from the government. Her husband had travelled inland, searching for fruit, but found the trees destroyed. Rice fields were inundated with saltwater.

Aid convoys, raided by desperate survivors in recent days, are facing another threat. Agence France-Presse reported that one convoy, en route to Tacloban, was attacked by 15 communist rebels, fighting one of the country’s long-running insurgencies. Two rebels were shot dead by troops.

The UN’s humanitarian chief, the former British cabinet minister Baroness Amos, has released $25m (£15.7m) from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Team, and travelled to the Philippines.

Typhoon survivors’ stories

Virginia Basinang 54, a retired teacher, found herself in waist-deep water on the second floor of her home in Tacloban when the typhoon hit. People screamed as they bobbed in the wave that surged through the streets, grabbing at floating debris to try and help them stay above the waterline. “Some of them were able to hold on, some were lucky and lived, but most did not,” she told the New York Times. She said 14 bodies were left on the street when the seawater receded.

Lieutenant Colonel Fermin Carangan of the Philippine Air Force said he and 41 officers had been sheltering in their airport office when “suddenly the sea water and the waves destroyed the walls and I saw my men being swept by waters one by one”. He told the Associated Press he managed to cling to a coconut tree, with a seven-year-old boy. “In the next five hours we were in the sea buffeted by wind and strong rain. I kept on talking to the boy and giving him a pep talk because [he] was telling me he was tired and he wanted to sleep.” Finally, Carangan managed to swim to a nearby beach, which he said was strewn with bodies. “I think the boy saved my life because I found strength so that he can survive,” he said.

Joselito Caimoy 42, a truck driver, managed to get his wife, and two children on a flight out of Tacloban. He stayed behind to guard what is left of his home. “There is no water, no food,” he said. “People are just scavenging in the streets. The devastation is too much... the malls, the grocery stories have all been looted. They’re empty. People are hungry. And they [the authorities] cannot control the people.”

Amid the devastation, there was a moment of celebration on Monday when 21-year-old Emily Ortega gave birth to a daughter – Bea Joy Sagales – inside a makeshift hospital at Tacloban airport’s control tower. Ms Ortega managed to survive by clinging to a post during the floods, before she eventually found safety at the airport and gave birth. Her husband in Manila was unaware of what had happened. The baby’s aunt told ABC News that the child was named after Ms Ortega’s mother, who went missing in the typhoon on Friday.

Pregnant Jenny Dela Cruz lost 11 members of her family, including her two-year-old daughter. “Right now, all we can do is survive the day,” she told the BBC. “But I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or the day after that, or if we can continue surviving.”

To make a donation to the DEC Philippines Crisis Appeal visit http://www.dec.org.uk, call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900, donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office or send a cheque. You can also donate £5 by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000.

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