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Philippines: tens of millions affected by Typhoon Haiyan as president declares state of calamity


Philippines

Philippines: tens of millions affected by Typhoon Haiyan as president declares state of calamity

In the Philippines, authorities say nearly 10 million people across 41 provinces have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms.

The huge scale of death and destruction from Friday’s storm become clearer as reports emerged of thousands missing and the international relief effort struggling to get food and water to those who need it.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino declared a state of national calamity to speed up government movements on its rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts on the provinces affected by the typhoon.

At one of the evacuation centres, a local church in one of the worst-hit provinces, Leyte, an unidentified woman tried to come to terms with the loss of her child:

“She really just slipped from my hands. I think she sacrificed her life when she let me go because she knows that by holding onto me, we were both weighed down and in danger of drowning,” she said.

Bodies litter the streets of Tacloban, rotting and swelling under the sun. People walked covering their noses with rags or old clothes to mask the stench.

Dazed survivors begged for help and scavenged for food, water and medicine.

The death toll is likely to climb rapidly into the tens of thousands once rescuers reach remote parts of the Philippine coast.

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