Up to 1,200 people have died as a result of Super Typhoon
Haiyan, the Philippine Red Cross said Saturday, according to Reuters and
Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms ever
recorded, crashed across the central islands of the Philippines Friday
before heading west toward Vietnam.
were reports of widespread power outages, flash floods, landslides and
scores of buildings torn apart. Capt. John Andrews, deputy director
general of the Civil Aviation Authority, said civil aviation authorities
in Tacloban reported that the seaside airport terminal was "ruined" by
storm surges, though military planes were still able to land with relief
Because communications in the Philippines were
cut-off, it remained difficult to determine the full extent of
casualties and damage.
"We expect the level of
destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan to be extensive and devastating,
and sadly we fear that many lives will be lost," said Anna Lindenfors,
Philippines director of Save the Children.
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.
Haiyan's sustained winds weakened Saturday to 101 mph. The center of
the storm was moving away from the Philippines and into the South China
Sea, but high winds were still battering the country. It was expected to
make landfall Sunday morning in central Vietnam, with winds of about
125 mph, which is the strength of a Category 3 hurricane.
authorities in four central provinces began evacuating more than
500,000 people from high risk areas to government buildings, schools and
other concrete homes able to withstand strong winds.
evacuation is being conducted with urgency and must be completed before 5
p.m.," disaster official Nguyen Thi Yen Linh by telephone from central
Danang City, where some 76,000 are being moved to safety.
of thousands of others were being taken to shelters in the provinces of
Quang Ngai, Quang Nam and Thua Thien Hue. Schools were closed and two
deputy prime ministers were sent to the region to direct the
Haiyan, known as Yolanda in the typhoon-prone Philippines, affected a huge swath of the country.
Leyte Gov. Roger Mercado said the typhoon triggered landslides that
blocked roads, uprooted trees and ripped roofs off houses around his
The dense clouds and heavy rains made the day seem almost as dark as night, he said.
you're faced with such a scenario, you can only pray, and pray and
pray," Mercado said in a telephone interview, adding that mayors in the
province had not called in to report any major damage.
that means they were spared and not the other way around," he said. "My
worst fear is there will be massive loss of lives and property."
category-5 storm made landfall Friday morning at Guiuan, a small city
in Samar province in the eastern Philippines. Weather officials said
Haiyan had sustained winds of 147 mph with gusts of 170 mph when it made
Haiyan was be the fourth typhoon to hit the Philippines this
year and the third Category 5 typhoon to make landfall in the
Philippines since 2010, says meteorologist Jeff Masters of the Weather
Underground. Just last year, Super Typhoon Bopha killed more than 1,900
people in the Philippines when it hit on Dec. 3, the deadliest typhoon
in Philippine history.
"The Philippines lie in the most
tropical cyclone-prone waters on Earth, and rarely escape a year without
experiencing a devastating typhoon," says Masters A tropical cyclone is
an all-encompassing term that includes typhoons, hurricanes, and
cyclones, which have different names depending on where they form.
1970, the Philippines has been hit by more tropical cyclones than any
country on earth, except for China, according to the National Hurricane
On average, about 30 tropical cyclones form in the
western Pacific Ocean each year, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center
reports. According to data from the warning center, an October record of
seven typhoons developed in the western Pacific Ocean last month.
That doesn't include Cyclone Phailin, which became the strongest
system to make landfall in India since 1999, coming ashore in the
eastern state of Odisha in October, killing at least 44 people. Storms
that form in the Indian Ocean - a separate "basin" from the Western
Pacific -- are known as cyclones.
Rowena Pinky Jumamoy, a member
of the Filipino Association in Richmond, Va. (FAACV) and a native of
Inabang, Bohol, one of the provinces hit the hardest by Haiyan, made
contact with Tian Cempron, a conservation fellow of the marine sanctuary
project. "As of this morning, the news is that In one coastal village
alone at least 30 houses were wiped out," Jumamoy said.