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Philippines Recovering After Haiyan

Arash Zandi |
November 15, 2013 | 11:26 a.m. PST

Executive Producer

Typhoon Haiyan is the second deadliest in Philippines history. (Wikimedia Commons)
Typhoon Haiyan is the second deadliest in Philippines history. (Wikimedia Commons)
It has been over a week since Typhoon Haiyan destroyed most of the central Philippines. Health officials are now saying that some of the victims are surviving off the land. Health Undersecretary Janette Garin said in an interview that, “One of the impressions is that there was total absence of food and water. Some victims survived on coconut juice.” Crews are still collecting bodies from streets and rubble as the death toll increased to 3,621. The number of people injured stands at 12,165 and at least 1,140 people are missing, according to state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA).

PNA has also reported that five-person teams that comprise of a photographer and a forensics expert would begin a “quick system” on Saturday to identify and collect the bodies. The PNA said that, “Under the system, the public will not be allowed to view the identification process but relatives will be asked to participate in the final identification of corpses at an appointed time.” They also said that each team must handle 40 corpses per day. One of the most affected cities, Tacloban, had an official 801 body count by today, but thousands more are feared dead.

READ MORE: Typhoon Haiyan: Countries Providing Aid For The Philipines

Children are especially vulnerable in this environment. "Health, nutrition, getting them clean water, good sanitation, protection, and we have to consider education also," said UNICEF spokesman Kent Page. "Schools have been wiped out and getting kids into child-friendly spaces -- where they can feel protected, where they can get a chance to play, where they can get a sense of normalcy back in their life after going through such a devastating experience -- is very important."

So far, rescue crews have cleared the bigger streets of Tacloban, which used to have a population of 220,000 people but now, it is mostly a ghost town filled by areas of rubble. Survivors have traveled to the city’s airport to fly out of the city and others have gone to the beach to board naval ships to eke out a new life for themselves in other places. The USS George Washington, an aircraft carrier with 5,500 crew, arrived on the coast. The carrier was joined by eight ships that carry 80 aircraft and 21 helicopters that can deliver supplies to villages.

This natural disaster has also led to other disasters as well. Senator Nancy Binay has mentioned reports of rapes and other crimes against women, some committed by prison escapees, PNA has reported.


Reach Executive Producer Arash Zandi here. Follow him on Twitter here.



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