Overwhelming damage,slow relief

President Aquino declares national calamity,deploys army; roads,airports and bridges destroyed.

Written by New York Times | Tacloban | Published: November 12, 2013 1:05:42 am

The scale of the devastation and desperation wrought by one of the most powerful storms ever to buffet the Philippines came into much clearer view Monday,three days after it hopscotched across the country’s midsection whipping up monstrous walls of seawater.

Survivors spoke of people being swept away in tsunami-like torrents,their corpses strewn among the wreckage of the storm,Typhoon Haiyan. Photos from the hard-hit city of Tacloban showed vast stretches swept clean of homes,and reports emerged of people who were desperate for food and water raiding aid convoys and stripping the stores that had been left standing.

Dazed survivors begged for help and scavenged for food,water and medicine on Monday as an estimated 10,000 was killed in the central Philippines.

President Benigno Aquino declared a state of national calamity and deployed hundreds of soldiers in the coastal city of Tacloban to quell looting. He also said the government had set aside 18.7 billion pesos ($432.97 million for rehabilitation.

One of the most powerful storms ever recorded,Typhoon Haiyan levelled Basey,a seaside town in Samar province about 10 km across a bay from Tacloban in Leyte province,where at least 10,000 people were killed,according to officials. About 2,000 people were missing in Basey,said the governor of Samar province.

More than 600,000 people were displaced by the storm across the country and some have no access to food,water,or medicine,the UN says.

Flattened by surging waves and monster winds up to 378 kmph,Tacloban was relying almost entirely for supplies and evacuation on just three military transport planes flying from nearby Cebu city.

In a nationwide broadcast,Aquino said the government was focusing relief and assistance efforts on Samar and Leyte provinces,which acted as “funnels for the storm surges”.

More bad weather was on the way with a depression due to bring rain to the central and southern Philippines on Tuesday,the weather bureau said.

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