Monday 24 November 2014

Hell continues for the desperate survivors as storms delay vital aid

Published 13/11/2013 | 02:00

A woman with a child weeps as she queues for the chance to escape
Survivors jostle to get on board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban yesterday, when thousands of survivors swarmed the airport seeking a flight out

Aid agencies insisted last night that delays of up to five days in getting help to survivors of the typhoon were "inevitable" given the conditions on the ground.

In Tacloban, the city of 200,000 that has suffered some of the worst damage, many residents have complained of a lack of aid and medical supplies, with reports of survivors resorting to armed robbery.

The US navy has dispatched the USS George Washington, which has 5,000 sailors and 80 aircraft, while Britain is sending a warship, HMS Daring.

Neither vessel is expected to arrive in the area for two to three days, and substantial aid has yet to reach the city's suburbs, let alone outlying areas or the smaller settlements in the Philippines' 2,000-island archipelago. Aid workers said that the scale of the destruction, combined with the remote location of the affected islands, meant that such delays could not be avoided.

Yesterday shocked survivors spoke of their ordeals. Wearing just one broken rubber flip-flop on his feet, Marcel Stutz, a farmer from a small village outside Tacloban, led his young children and wife down an avenue lined with putrefying corpses that would take them to the airport and to safety.

It was a grim scene from which he tried desperately to shield his two daughters as they headed for the airport – where some of the only buildings in the devastated city still remain.

A man points at one of the bags containing bodies of typhoon victims in Tacloban city, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military.    REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco (PHILIPPINES - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT)
A man points at one of the bags containing bodies of typhoon victims in Tacloban city, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military.
Survivors stand near bags containing bodies of typhoon victims in Tacloban city, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
A woman searching for her missing loved ones looks at bags containing bodies of typhoon victims in Tacloban city, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH Members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) transport a bag containing the body of a typhoon victim in Tacloban city, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH A member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) stands in front of bags containing bodies of typhoon victims in Tacloban city, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH Bags containing bodies of typhoon victims line a road as members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) work to arrange the bags in Tacloban city, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Church members of Tacloban's The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints missionary wait for their evacuation flight by the U.S. military after Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. Military. REUTERS/Edgar Su (
A member of Japan's Disaster Relief Team moves supplies upon arriving at the destroyed airport in Tacloban city, after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the city, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. Military. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Lee Maxfield, from Tacloban's missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, leads all 31 of his church members to evacuate on a U.S. military aircraft back to Manila after Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Maxfield's missionary is intact and did not suffer any casualties. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A member of Japan's Disaster Relief Team moves supplies upon arriving at the destroyed airport after Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A woman cries after failing to board a military flight by the Philippine Air Force to evacuate typhoon victims in Tacloban city, which was battered by Typhoon Haiyan, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. The flight was full and would return to continue the evacuation, according to officials. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
A woman cries after failing to board a military flight by the Philippine Air Force to evacuate typhoon victims in Tacloban city, which was battered by Typhoon Haiyan, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. The flight was full and would return to continue the evacuation, according to officials. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
People get out of a stranded car at a flooded underpass amid heavy rainfalls under the influence of Typhoon Haiyan, in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region November 11, 2013. Rainstorms brought by the typhoon hit the south China region on Sunday and Monday, killing at least four, with seven people still missing, according to Xinhua News Agency. Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, killed an estimated 10,000 people in central Philippines, according to officials. Picture taken November 11, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily
Typhoon victims queue for free rice at a businessman's warehouse in Tacloban city, which was battered by Typhoon Haiyan, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
Residents cover their noses as they walk past debris with stench of corpses along a road in Tacloban city, devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
Typhoon victims queue for free rice at a businessman's warehouse in Tacloban city, which was battered by Typhoon Haiyan, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
A typhoon victim rests on a sofa at the ruins of her family's home in Palo, Leyte province, which was battered by Typhoon Haiyan, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
A homeless typhoon victim sits at a makeshift shelter along a road in Palo, Leyte, which was battered by Typhoon Haiyan, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. Military. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
A typhoon victim looks out from a makeshift shelter along a road in Palo, Leyte province in central Philippines, which was battered by Typhoon Haiyan November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
Residents cover their noses as they walk past debris with stench of corpses along a road in Palo town, devastated by super typhoon Haiyan in Leyte province in central Philippines November 12, 2013. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
A mannequin hangs on a tree amidst debris brought by super typhoon Haiyan in Palo, Leyte province in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Residents said they saw the mannequin hanging on the tree a day after the typhoon. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
A man stands on the ground floor of his damaged house after super typhoon Haiyan battered Palo, Leyte province in central Philippines November 12, 2013. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
A resident gets water from a hose along a road blocked by debris, brought at the height of super typhoon Haiyan in Palo, Leyte province in central Philippines November 12, 2013. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
A man stands on the ground floor of his damaged house after super typhoon Haiyan battered Palo, Leyte province in central Philippines November 12, 2013. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
A resident inspects one of the statues at the U.S. General Douglas MacArthur shrine that fell at the height of super typhoon Haiyan last Friday in Palo, Leyte province in central Philippines November 12, 2013. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
One of the statues of the U.S. General Douglas MacArthur shrine lies face down in the water after falling at the height of super typhoon Haiyan in Palo, Leyte province in central Philippines November 12, 2013. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
Survivors of super typhoon Haiyan rest in front of the U.S. General Douglas MacArthur shrine in Palo, Leyte province in central Philippines November 12, 2013. One of statues fell at the height of the typhoon last Friday, according to residents. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
A mother and her two daughters cover their faces with towels as they pass the stench on the road after super typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban City, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Evacuees board a U.S. military C-130 aircraft as they leave the town after super typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban City in central Philippines November 12, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su
People, including elderly and a woman breastfeeding her child, wait to leave on a military transport out of the destroyed town after super typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban City in central Philippines November 12, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Residents wade through a flooded street outside a traffic police station after rainstorms triggered by Typhoon Haiyan hit Sanya, Hainan province November 11, 2013. Rainstorms from the typhoon hit the south China region on Sunday and Monday, killing at least four, with seven people still missing, according to Xinhua News Agency. Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, killed an estimated 10,000 people in central Philippines, according to officials. Picture taken November 11, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily
A view of flooded streets after rainstorms triggered by Typhoon Haiyan hit Sanya, Hainan province November 11, 2013. Rainstorms from the typhoon hit the south China region on Sunday and Monday, killing at least four, with seven people still missing, according to Xinhua News Agency. Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, killed an estimated 10,000 people in central Philippines, according to officials. Picture taken November 11, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer
Residents dodge as they ride a motorcycle past a fallen tree on a flooded street after rainstorms triggered by Typhoon Haiyan hit Sanya, Hainan province November 11, 2013. Rainstorms from the typhoon hit the south China region on Sunday and Monday, killing at least four, with seven people still missing, according to Xinhua News Agency. Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, killed an estimated 10,000 people in central Philippines, according to officials. Picture taken November 11, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer
A man looks out from the side of his car on a flooded street after rainstorms triggered by Typhoon Haiyan hit Sanya, Hainan province November 11, 2013. Rainstorms from the typhoon hit the south China region on Sunday and Monday, killing at least four, with seven people still missing, according to Xinhua News Agency. Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, killed an estimated 10,000 people in central Philippines, according to officials. Picture taken November 11, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer
A woman looks on as she stands in line among hundreds of others, waiting to leave on military air transport after super typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban City in central Philippines November 12, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A woman waiting to leave the town cries after learning that she will not be joining the early military flight to Manila, after super typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban City in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Women, children, elderly and the injured have priority to leave the city on military air transport.
REFILE - CORRECTING SPELLING Military personnel carry a woman after she fainted while waiting in line to leave the town on military air transport, at the destroyed airport after super typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban City, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su
Residents rush to a military helicopter to get food packs during a relief distribution after super typhoon Haiyan hit Iloilo province, central Philippines November 11, 2013. Dazed survivors of a super typhoon that swept through the central Philippines killing an estimated 10,000 people begged for help and scavenged for food, water and medicine on Monday, threatening to overwhelm military and rescue resources. REUTERS/Leo Solinap
A man smiles as he carries a sack of relief goods while others rush for their share during a relief distribution after super typhoon Haiyan hit Iloilo province, central Philippines November 11, 2013. Dazed survivors of a super typhoon that swept through the central Philippines killing an estimated 10,000 people begged for help and scavenged for food, water and medicine on Monday, threatening to overwhelm military and rescue resources. REUTERS/Leo Solinap
People cross a street against strong wind and heavy rainfall under the influence of Typhoon Haiyan, in Sanya, Hainan province November 10, 2013. One of the most powerful storms ever recorded killed at least 10,000 people in the central Philippines, a senior police official said on Sunday, with huge waves sweeping away entire coastal villages and devastating the region's main city. Despite weakening, the storm is likely to cause heavy rains, flooding, strong winds and mudslides as it makes its way north in the South China Sea. Picture taken November 10, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily
A woman cries after finding the body of her missing relative amidst bodies of other typhoon victims in Tacloban city, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Forensic workers from the Philippine National Police (PNP) inspect bodies of typhoon victims in Tacloban city, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, in central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Children help to carry pails of drinking water as they walk past a graffiti calling for help after Typhoon Haiyan devastated Tacloban city, central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Residents carry a plastic container of drinking water as they walk past a graffiti calling for help after Typhoon Haiyan devastated Tacloban city, central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
A girl transfers drinking water she collected from a faucet after Typhoon Haiyan devastated Tacloban city, central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
A resident walks past a wall with a graffiti calling for help after Typhoon Haiyan devastated Tacloban city, central Philippines November 12, 2013. Rescue workers tried to reach towns and villages in the central Philippines on Tuesday that were cut off by the powerful typhoon, fearing the estimated death toll of 10,000 could jump sharply, as relief efforts intensified with the help of U.S. military. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
New-born baby Bea Joy is held by relative Michelle Satur after her mother Emily Ortega, 21, gave birth in 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)
An aerial image taken from a Philippine Air Force helicopter shows the devastation of the first landfall by typhoon Haiyan, Monday Nov. 11, 2013 in Guiuan, Eastern Samar province, central Philippines. Authorities said at least 2 million people in 41 provinces had been affected by the Friday's disaster and at least 23,000 houses had been damaged or destroyed. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
New-born baby Bea Joy is held as mother Emily Ortega, 21, bottom, 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)
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)
An aerial shot from a Philippine Air Force helicopter shows the devastation Monday Nov. 11, 2013 of the first landfall by typhoon Haiyan in Guiuan, Eastern Samar province, central Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, slammed into central Philippine provinces Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction and socres of people dead. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
This photo released by the Malacanang Photo Bureau shows an aerial view of Tacloban city, Leyte province in central Philippines Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the region in the Philippines. Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, slammed into several central Philippine islands on Friday, leaving a wide swath of destruction and hundreds of people dead. (AP Photo/Malacanang Photo Bureau, Ryan Lim)
This photo released by the Malacanang Photo Bureau, shows an aerial view of Tacloban city, Leyte province in central Philippines, after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the region on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, in the Philippines. Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, slammed into several central Philippine islands on Friday, leaving a wide swath of destruction and hundreds of people dead. (AP Photo/Malacanang Photo Bureau, Ryan Lim)
This photo released by the Malacanang Photo Bureau shows an aerial view of Tacloban city, Leyte province in central Philippines, after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the region on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, in the Philippines. Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, slammed into several central Philippine islands on Friday, leaving a wide swath of destruction and hundreds of people dead. (AP Photo/Malacanang Photo Bureau, Ryan Lim)
New-born baby Bea Joy, center, is held as mother Emily Ortega, 21, left, 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)
Residents, waiting for relief supplies, are framed by a tattered Philippine flag amidst the devastation brought about by Friday's super typhoon Haiyan which lashed Hernani township, Eastern Samar province, central Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, slammed into central Philippine provinces Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction and hundreds of people dead. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
An aerial image taken from a Philippine Air Force helicopter shows the devastation caused by typhoon Haiyan in Guiuan, Eastern Samar province, central Philippines Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. Authorities said at least 2 million people in 41 provinces had been affected by Friday's typhoon and at least 23,000 houses had been damaged or destroyed. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
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)
An aerial image taken from a Philippine Air Force helicopter shows the devastation caused by typhoon Haiyan in Guiuan, Eastern Samar province, central Philippines 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/Bullit Marquez)
Residents wait for supplies to be unloaded from the U.S. military aid shipment flown in to Tacloban airport, central Philippines, Monday, Nov. 11, 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/Wally Santana)
An aerial image taken from a Philippine Air Force helicopter shows the devastation caused by typhoon Haiyan in Eastern Samar province, central Philippines Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. Authorities said at least 2 million people in 41 provinces had been affected by Friday's typhoon and at least 23,000 houses had been damaged or destroyed. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Survivors fill the streets to the downtown area as they race for supplies 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 typhoon Haiyan and at least 23,000 houses had been damaged or destroyed. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Survivors stay beside a ship that was washed ashore hitting makeshift houses near an oil depot in 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 typhoon Haiyan and at least 23,000 houses had been damaged or destroyed. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Survivors walk by a large ship after it was washed ashore by strong waves caused by powerful Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban city, Leyte province
A boy who was wounded by flying debris due to Super Typhoon Haiyan stays at the ruins of his family's house in Tacloban city
Residents put up a makeshift structure amongst damaged homes in Tacloban city.
Survivors reach out to receive medicine from a passing vehicle along the devastated downtown after super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city.
A resident drinks water beside large ships that were washed ashore by strong waves caused by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban city.
Debris hanging on a basketball post near thousands of houses damaged after super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city.
Residents walk past damaged houses in Tacloban city.
Children play under the statues of saints inside a Catholic church which has been converted into an evacuation centre.
Residents cover their nose from the smell of dead bodies in Tacloban city. The city remains littered with debris from damaged homes as many complain of shortage of food, water and no electricity since the typhoon.
Residents walk on a road littered with debris after Super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city.
An aerial view of damage caused by Typhoon Haiya after hitting the Leyte province, in thecentral Philippines.
Residents walk past the ruins of houses, which were destroyed after Super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines
Typhoon victims queue for food and water outside an airport after Super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines
Survivors pass by two large ships after they were washed ashore by strong waves caused by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban city, Leyte province
A large boat sits on top of destroyed homes after it was washed ashore by strong waves caused by Typhoon Haiyan, in Tacloban city.
A wave surges under the influence of Typhoon Haiyan, in Haikou, south China's Hainan province.
Debris from homes pictured near the fishport after super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city.
A resident looks at houses damaged by typhoon Haiyan, in Tacloban city, Leyte province
A mother takes refuge with her children as Typhoon Haiyan hits Cebu city, central Philippines
A mother and her son walk under damaged electric cables after super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city, central Philippines.
A collapsed building after super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines.
Residents fetch water from an artesian well after super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines.
A vehicle lies amidst debris brought about by powerful typhoon Haiyan that hit Tacloban city, in Leyte province in central Philippines.
A pregnant woman walks past debris left by super Typhoon Haiyan after it battered Tacloban city, central Philippines.
Survivors walk near their damaged house after super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city, central Philippines.
Survivors walk on a road after super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines.
Residents living near the slopes of Mayon volcano are evacuated to public schools by police in anticipation of the powerful typhoon Haiyan that threatened Albay province and several provinces in central Philippines.
Volunteers pack relief goods inside a Department of Social Welfare and Development warehouse before shipping out to devastated provinces hit by Typhoon Haiyan in Manila
A volunteer packs rice inside a Department of Social Welfare and Development warehouse before shipping them out to the devastated provinces hit by Typhoon Haiyan in Manila
An enhanced satellite image shows Typhoon Haiyan as it crosses the Philippines.
Typhoon Haiyan hits the Philippines in this weather satellite image, courtesy of the Japan Meteorological Agency
A house is engulfed by the storm surge brought about by powerful typhoon Haiyan that hit Legazpi city, Albay province about 520km south of Manila, Philippines.
Debris float on a flooded road as strong winds and rain continue to batter buildings after Typhoon Haiyan hit Tacloban city, Leyte province
Residents clear the road after a tree was toppled by strong winds and damaged a van at the onslaught of powerful typhoon Haiyan that hit the island province of Cebu, Philippines
Fishermen secure their boats in anticipation of the arrival of Typhoon Haiyan near Manila Bay in Bacoor, Cavite
Soldiers make the rounds to enforce the evacuation of residents as powerful typhoon Haiyan hits Legazpi city, Albay province about 520km south of Manila
Residents rush to safety past a fallen tree during strong winds brought by Typhoon Haiyan that hit Cebu city, central Philippines
A man walks past a tree uprooted by strong winds brought by super Typhoon Haiyan that hit Cebu city, central Philippines

Days earlier, Typhoon Haiyan had destroyed their home, a small ranch in which they had lived for 18 years. They had spent three days trapped by waters six feet deep from a swollen local river. Mr Stutz said his farm had been turned into a mass graveyard, with washed-up bodies lying strewn over his land.

They finally managed to escape once the waters had receded and they made their way to Tacloban in search of food and water.

"(It was) hell. We knew it was coming but not on this scale," said Mr Stutz (43) a Swiss national, who is married to a local woman.

"The wind took the roof off. We were under the mattress, (pinned) against a concrete wall.Then suddenly the water started to rise. It was black. You looked out of the window and it was white like there was snow there. (The sound) was: 'Bang, bang, bang!' All around the coconut trees went, 'Crrr, crrr, crrrr'. Cracking like matches."

Thousands of the displaced were competing for space yesterday in Tacloban's main airport and the handful of other buildings in the city left standing. One heavily pregnant woman was forced to swim through 6ft high waves to reach the airport, where she knew it would be safer to give birth.

Aid agencies and the United Nations are using what is left as a makeshift camp.

Every few hours American military C130s arrive with pallets stacked with food, water and clothes, before filling up with those lucky enough to be given seats on their flights back to the capital, Manila. Delma Rosel (30) said she had been waiting with her three nephews for two days.

Last Friday morning as the typhoon struck her wood-framed house, along the coast from the airport, she faced an agonising decision: risk drowning inside her own home or swim out and face being battered by a torrent filled with downed trees and rubble

. "I was so scared," she said, "but my father held me and told me to be strong and that we would live." "We expected the wind and the rain, but this was like a tsunami," she said. "I said to my father this is the end of our lives. We were so lucky. Just as we were thinking we would have to swim away, it all ended. The water just left." (©Daily,Telegraph, London)

Tom Phillips and Rob Crilly

Irish Independent

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