Photo of Typhoon Haiyan captured by astronaut Karen L. Nyberg aboard the International Space Station
Super Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Phillipines last Friday displacing millions and killing at least 1,200 in the country.
The death toll initially estimated at around 10,000 has been reduced to 2,000-2,500 and many thousands more missing. Over half of the countries provinces have been affected.
The storm measured is about 500 miles in diameter recording 195 mph winds easily reached category five and is the strongest recorded tropical storm that made landfall.
Rescue operations have been greatly hampered by obstructed roads caused by fallen trees and 13 airports had to be shut down.
In addition electrical and telecommunication services were knocked out, but authorities pledged to restore them within 24 hours and have since done so; however, there are some areas beyond repair.
The destruction in many areas hit by the super typhoon has been described as “total.”
To make matters worse for the archipelago country a 4.8 magnitude earthquake hit the island of Bohol on Tuesday.
Along with the earthquake tropical storm Zoraida arrived Tuesday. It is nothing compared to Haiyan, it has grounded relief flights waiting for it to pass.
International Aid Pledged (in USD):
- U.N.: 25 million
- U.S.: 20 million
- UK: 16.1 million
- UAE: 10 million
- Australia: 9.5 million
- Canada: 4.8 million
- European Union: 4 million
- Norway: 3.4 million
- Denmark: 3.1 million
- New Zealand: 1.75 million
- Ireland: 1.4 million
- Vatican: 150,000
- China: 100,000
The U.N. has now proposed to increase their aid to $301 million.
Desperate for supplies
There are still a reported 12 million people within the country at risk according to the Philippine’s Government. Of that group 2 million need food and 300,000 are pregnant women.
The lack of food and water has caused many civilians to turn to theft for survival.
The local grocery store owners banded together in efforts to protect their stores threatening to shoot would be thieves.
Military police are being dispatched to these areas for peace keeping and relief operations.
A report from Philippines Army Capt. Ruben Guinolbay to Reuters, via Russia Today, said, “Today, we have stabilized the situation. There are no longer reports of looting. The food supply is coming in. Up to 50,000 food packs are coming in every day, with each pack able to feed up to a family of five for three days.”
The country is no stranger to typhoons, averaging 19 per year, has already suffered through 24 this year alone. Last year Typhoon Bopha ravaged three towns in the Southern Phillipines killing 1,100 and causing $1 billion in damages.
Typhoon Hyian is expected to make its way towards Vietnam next, where 300,000 people have already been evacuated.
Video of the aftermath is available here.
The U.S., U.K. , and Japan are set to deploy military personnel to aid in the affected areas. The naval vessels and personnel are expected to arrive in the next two to three days, barring any other potential disaster.
Other countries like Belgium and Russia sent field hospitals. Israel sent two Boeing 747s loaded with supplies and 200 medical personnel.