Saturday 20 December 2014

Typhoon's devastating aftermath: 4m people now without a home

Aubrey Belford

Published 18/11/2013 | 02:00

Survivors rush to grab fresh water delivered by a US helicopter.
US Cardinal Theodore E McCarrick prays in the ruined Transfiguration Cathedral in Palo, near Tacloban, and left, survivors rush to grab fresh water delivered by a US helicopter.
Filipino military personnel unload relief goods to be distributed to those affected by Typhoon Haiyan at the airport in Tacloban (AP)
Survivors of typhoon Haiyan rush to grab fresh water delivered by a US military helicopter to their isolated village north of Tacloban.
Ground staff load equipment onto a Boeing 747 at East Midlands Airport headed for Cebu in the Philippines, to help aid the relief effort following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.
A survivor of Typhoon Haiyan gestures after receiving aid delivered by a US military helicopter to a isolated village north of Tacloban
Survivors of typhoon Haiyan carry boxes with aid delivered by a U.S. military helicopter to their isolated village north of Tacloban
Locals carry a motorcycle wheel after getting it repaired, along a main street of the Typhoon Haiyan devastated central Philippine town of Palo, near Tacloban November 16, 2013.
Typhoon victims in Tacloban have been the grateful recipients of Irish aid
Leyte, Philippines - November 15: US troops unload relief from one of the US Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey in Tacloban airport
LEYTE, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 15: US troops unload relief supplies from their cargo plane in Tacloban airport on November 15, 2013 in Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan which ripped through Philippines over the weekend has been described as one of the most powerful typhoons ever to hit land, leaving thousands dead and hundreds of thousands homeless. Countries all over the world have pledged relief aid to help support those affected by the typhoon, however damage to the airport and roads have made moving the aid into the most affected areas very difficult. With dead bodies left out in the open air and very limited food, water and shelter, health concerns are growing. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty Images)
Churches in parts of the Philippines destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan are holding Sunday services

MOBBED by hungry villagers, US military helicopters dropped desperately needed aid into remote areas of the typhoon-ravaged central Philippines – as survivors of the disaster flocked to ruined churches to pray for victims and for their uncertain future.

The Philippines is facing up to an enormous rebuilding task from Typhoon Haiyan, which killed at least 3,681 people and left 1,186 missing, with many isolated communities yet to receive significant aid despite a massive international relief effort.

Philippine authorities and international aid agencies face a mounting humanitarian crisis, with the number of people displaced by the catastrophe estimated at four million, up from 900,000 late last week.

President Benigno Aquino, caught off guard by the scale of the disaster and criticised by some for the sometimes chaotic response, visited affected areas yesterday.

Not for the first time, he sought to deflect blame for the problems on to local authorities, whose preparations, he said, had fallen short.

EVACUATION

In Guiuan, a hard-hit coastal town in eastern Samar province, he praised the city mayor for conducting a proper evacuation that had limited deaths to less than 100, saying that was a contrast to other towns.

"In other places, I prefer not to talk about it. As your president, I am not allowed to get angry even if I am already upset. I'll just suffer through it with an acidic stomach."

While aid packages have begun to reach more remote areas, much of it carried by helicopters brought by the USS George Washington aircraft carrier, the United Nations said people were still going hungry in some mountainous provinces.

The United Nations also said information about several provinces in the west of the Visayas region remained "limited", with 60pc of people in towns in the northeast part of Capiz province needing food support.

"I remain concerned about the health and well-being of the millions of men, women and children.

"They are still in desperate need," UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said in a statement.

Irish Independent

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