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State of calamity declared in the Philippines with warnings of rising death toll


Philippines

State of calamity declared in the Philippines with warnings of rising death toll

Hundreds of survivors of Friday’s powerful typhoon, which ravaged the central Philippines, gathered at Tacloban airport on Monday in the hope of being evacuated from their flattened city.

Most had nothing left to stay for and feared for their lives as what food and water was available began running out.

Tacloban appears to have borne the brunt of Typhoon Haiyan but once rescue workers reach the more remote coastal villages there are fears the estimated death toll of 10,000 will rise sharply.

Meanwhile many like Ellen Kordial, whose house was submerged in the nearby village of San Jose, feel abandoned.

“You can’t rely on relief goods. In our village, there are no media, there is no aid. What do they want us to do – slug our way through the queue… pushing each other?”

“We are still surviving, even though it’s pretty hard here, everything is gone, our houses, everything. There is nothing to eat, there is nothing to drink,” said a young woman hoping for a seat on a plane.

Meanwhile locals are trying to help themselves. They are even having to bury their own dead. The stench of death is said to be everywhere.

The government has declared a state of national calamity which will allow it to use state funds for relief, but this disaster is too much for them to cope with alone.

And compounding the misery of survivors, a weather depression was bringing more rain to the central and southern Philippines.

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