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Deadly looting raises security fears in typhoon-hit Philippines

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Deadly looting raises security fears in typhoon-hit Philippines


Anger and desperation are rising in the Philippines amid fears of anarchy as those who have lost everything take matters into their own hands.

At least eight people were killed in one of the latest episodes of looting. A wall collapsed in the town of Alangalang as rice stocks were raided at a government warehouse.

Tens of thousands of bags were taken. Looting is “not criminality” but “self-preservation” said Tacloban city administrator Tecson John Lim.
Some locals are receiving aid in the city, which was decimated by Typhoon Haiyan but more is needed in storm-hit areas – and fast.

“It is a bit like the tsunami. we think,” said Belgian aid worker Tim Van Reet. “At this moment we know that there is practically nothing left. Most of the things are destroyed. Lots of people are homeless without water, without food…so we also want to set up a water purification system.”

In another sign of desperation, as they wait for more international aid to arrive, some survivors have dug up underground pipes to get water.

Five days after the typhoon struck, chaos remains as does confusion over how many victims it claimed.

Philippines President Benigno Aquino believes local officials have overstated the loss of life, saying it is closer to 2,500 than the 10,000 previously estimated. Some aid workers on the ground however are sceptical and still fear the worst.

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