They were trying to go home, look for relatives, make sure everyone was safe and salvage what was left of their homes — pretty much nothing.
There were families who had left a family member behind to protect the house from being looted. There was a lot of debris and a lot of flooding. There were trees and fallen electricity lines strewn everywhere. On the side of the road people were laying out dead bodies covered in clothes and whatever they could find. There were children as well as adults.
I saw a dozen or so. But I am sure there are many in coastal areas that have not been retrieved or in places that completely flattened there must be a lot of bodies under there. For decades after the second World War, the United States maintained one of its largest overseas military installations at Subic Bay just west of Manila in the Philippines.
The base closed in , after the eruption of Mt Pinatubo covered the base in volcanic ash and efforts to extend a joint treaty failed. The US marines now charged with providing relief in the islands have flown in from Okinawa, Japan, another controversial base. Negotiations for a larger US presence in the Philippines have picked up recently as the US seeks to counter regional Chinese influence. President Obama was scheduled to visit the country in October to nudge forward a new security accord, but the trip was canceled because of the government shutdown.
Felix K. Once in effect, it would allow American forces to more regularly rotate through the island country for joint U. The new agreement would also allow the United States to preposition the combat equipment used by its forces at Philippine military bases. That, in turn, would save the time and fuel needed to fly in such equipment and keep it close at hand in case of a crisis.
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Eventually, the frequency of U. The storm is known as Yolanda locally. But the number has been climbing steeply as search-and-rescue efforts begin. Hard-hit areas remained beyond the reach of aid workers and telcom contact. Aid groups called for a large international disaster response. A list of relief organizations and efforts is here. The UN estimated that , have been internally displaced. Updated at 3. Victims of the storm are being buried in mass graves and the number of internally displaced Filipinos runs to the hundreds of thousands, according to the United Nations.
Reuters reports :. The United Nations said officials in Tacloban, which bore the brunt of the storm on Friday, had reported one mass grave of bodies. More than , people were displaced by the storm across the country and some have no access to food, water, or medicine, the U. Haiyan, one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded, is estimated to have destroyed about 70 to 80 percent of structures in its path. Bodies litter the streets of Tacloban, rotting and swelling under the sun.
People walked covering their noses with rags or old clothes to mask the stench. Updated at 2. The Philippines government has firmly connected the super typhoon Haiyan with climate change , and urged governments meeting in Poland on Monday to take emergency action to resolve the deadlocked climate talks.
It is now time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway," said Yeb Sano, head of the government's delegation to the UN climate talks, in an article for the Guardian , in which he challenged climate sceptics to "get off their ivory towers" to see the impacts of climate change firsthand. Sano, whose family comes from the devastated town of Tacloban where the typhoon Haiyan made landfall on Friday, said that countries such as the Philippines did not have time to wait for an international climate deal, which countries have agreed to reach in Paris in A bit more from Sandra Bulling, who describes the scene that greeted the Care International team as they arrived by boat in Ormoc city:.
As soon as we stepped onto the port, we were in the middle of a disaster zone. Everything was destroyed. Tin roofing sheets were hanging off trees like wet blankets. All the houses along the coast are completely flattened. Everything is destroyed. About five percent of the houses are completely collapsed — these are mainly wooden houses. People are picking up poles and pieces of wood from the street. There are long queues at hardware stores, pharmacies. We waited in line for two hours to get fuel. I talked to a shop owner whose shop was destroyed; he lost everything.
I also met a little girl, who was trying to dry out her books. Her house was totally destroyed, but there she was, worried about her school books, because she wants to go to school. Sandra Bulling, an aid worker with Care International, has sent this account from Jaro, a small town on the way to Tacloban. Thank you to the police for letting us use their toilets! Our plan is to go to Dulag, just south of Tacloban.
People are becoming quite desperate. Some officials just came and told us that there has been looting in the area, people trying to get rice for their families. In Ormoc [the port where we arrived], there was food; we could buy chicken and rice.
But there were big queues at the food stalls and shops. Here's a picture of Bea Joy, the baby girl born at Tacloban airport. We can stop this madness. Right now, right here," he told delegates at the UN climate talks in Warsaw. Choking on his words, he said he was waiting in agony for news from relatives caught in the super-storm's path, though he was relieved to hear his brother had survived:. In the last two days he has been gathering bodies of the dead with his own two hands … I will now commence a voluntary fasting for the climate.
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This means I will voluntarily refrain from eating food during this [conference] until a meaningful outcome is in sight. Over 2m ppl affected in Hainan. As dire forecasts poured in to predict a storm that would be among the most powerful on record, authorities prepared by evacuating people from flimsy homes along the coast to concrete structures farther inland.
Similar tactics had worked only weeks earlier when powerful Cyclone Phailin struck India's eastern shore, killing just 25 people as thousands more sheltered in government evacuation centers away from the sea.
And Vietnam appeared to have successfully evacuated some , people before a weakened Haiyan arrived there early Monday. But Philippine officials had not anticipated the 6-metre foot storm surges that swept through Tacloban, capital of the island province of Leyte, which saw the worst of Haiyan's damage. And while many perished in shelters, others ignored the evacuation and stayed put in their homes, either out of fear their property would fall prey to looters or because they underestimated the risk.
We were not ready for the water. While the storm surge proved deadly, much of the initial destruction was caused by winds blasting at kilometres per hour mph that occasionally blew with speeds of up to kph mph , howling like jet engines. Here's a crowd-sourced map of shelters, hospitals and disaster zones put together by the Google crisis reponse team. To anyone who continues to deny the reality that is climate change, I dare you to get off your ivory tower and away from the comfort of you armchair.
I dare you to go to the islands of the Pacific, the islands of the Caribbean and the islands of the Indian ocean and see the impacts of rising sea levels; to the mountainous regions of the Himalayas and the Andes to see communities confronting glacial floods, to the Arctic where communities grapple with the fast dwindling polar ice caps, to the large deltas of the Mekong, the Ganges, the Amazon, and the Nile where lives and livelihoods are drowned, to the hills of Central America that confronts similar monstrous hurricanes, to the vast savannas of Africa where climate change has likewise become a matter of life and death as food and water becomes scarce.
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Not to forget the massive hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern seaboard of North America. Lots of people are asking what they can do to help. Here's a list of who's doing what - and what they're asking for. Click on the links to donate to your chosen charity. AP has this heartbreaking dispatch from St Michael the Archangel, a Tacloban church that is being used as a makeshift morgue as the city stuggles to cope with its dead. It tells of how a father tried, in vain, to save his two-year-old son from the floodwaters of the typhoon:.
Ten bodies have been placed on wooden pews and across a pale white floor slick with blood, debris and water. One appears to have foamed at the mouth.
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One has been wrapped in a white sheet, tied to a thick green bamboo pole so that people could carry it, and placed on the floor. Librando had taken refuge in a military compound nearby by time the typhoon's storm surge poured in Friday morning.
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For two hours, the water rose around him. He held his 2-year-old son in one arm, his 3-year-old son in the other. But the torrent proved too strong, and swept the family out of the building. The water rose above Librando's head and he struggled to swim. I found his body later, behind the house. This is the worst thing I've ever seen in my life, the worst thing I could imagine.
I brought him to this chapel because there was nowhere else to take him. I wanted Jesus Christ to bless him. My colleague John Vidal wrote this piece from the Doha climate change negotiations almost a year ago. We have not seen any money from the rich countries to help us to adapt. So more and more people die every year.