Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of the Philippines. It’s hard to prepare for this level of a disaster. For more information on how you can help visit this link.
MANILA — As many as 10,000 people are feared dead after Super Typhoon Haiyan — one of the most powerful storms ever recorded — slammed into the central islands of the Philippines, a senior police official said.
Regional police chief Elmer Soria said he was briefed by Leyte provincial Gov. Dominic Petilla late Saturday and told there were about 10,000 deaths on the island, mostly by drowning and from collapsed buildings. The governor’s figure was based on reports from village officials in areas where Typhoon Haiyan slammed Friday.
Earlier it was reported that the death toll was 1,200 according to an estimate made by Gwendolyn Pang, secretary-general of the Philippine Red Cross, was culled by field reports from the relief organization’s workers, Richard Gordon, CEO of the Philippine Red Cross, told USA TODAY.
Tacloban city administrator Tecson Lim said that the death toll in the city alone “could go up to 10,000.”
As Haiyan heads west toward Vietnam, the Red Cross is at the forefront of an international effort to provide food, water, shelter and other relief to the hundreds of thousands of residents who have lost their homes and livelihood, Gordon said.
“This is a big, full-court press,” he said. “We’re pulling out all the stops to help.”
With widespread power outages, roads blocked, bridges down and debris strewn everywhere, getting life back to some semblance of normal in the region will take time.
“The Philippines are always resilient, and we’re going to get back up,” Gordon said.
Anna Lindenfors, Philippines director of Save the Children, said officials in the country were still trying to gather information about the damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan. As of Saturday, communication lines to the hardest hits areas had yet to be re-established, she said.
“With this magnitude, we know that the destruction is overwhelming,” said Emma Amores, who was waiting outside Villamor Airbase in Manila, where a C-130 was loading relief supplies and personnel heading to hard-hit Tacloban. “From the images we saw on TV, it’s highly likely our houses are gone. We just want to know that the family are all safe.”
Romil Elinsuv, who is in Manila for work training, worried about his wife and 4-year-old son, who are at their home in Palo, a town in the province of Leyte.
“I feel fear. I don’t know what the situation is there,” Elinsuv said. He said he spoke with his wife the day before. She assured him they were OK, but then the line went dead, and he’s been unable to reach her since.
Super Typhoon Haiyan hit Guiuan, on the Philippine island of Samar, at 4:40 a.m. local time Friday. Three hours before landfall, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center assessed Haiyan’s sustained winds at 195 mph, gusting to 235 mph, making it the fourth-strongest tropical cyclone in world history.