Typhoon Haiyan Update
By Nicole Halseth, News Editor
The confirmed death toll in the Philippines continues to rise following the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan.
According to an article on the BBC news website, the UN and local agencies in the Philippines have confirmed a death toll of around 3, 361 people. This number is expected to continue to rise.
This comes after Typhoon Haiyan, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, hit the region around 7 November 2013. Typhoon Haiyan may be the largest tropical storm to have made landfall in recorded history. It is the fourth most intense tropical cyclone that has ever been observed. It was formed on 3 November, and finally dissipated on 11 November.
Typhoon Haiyan, at its peak, was assessed as a Category 5 super typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. Its winds may have even measured up to 315 km/h. It first made landfall at Guiuan, Eastern Samar, in the Philippines, on 7 November. It later traveled along the Philippines to make final landfall on 10 November, in northern Vietnam, as a severe tropical storm.
Typhoon Haiyan caused widespread destruction in the Philippines, especially in the central region, on Samar Island, and Leyte. The city of Tacloban, located in this region, may have suffered particularly heavy losses. According to UN officials, between 9 and 11 million people have been impacted by this typhoon. Up to 12, 487 have been injured, 1, 187 are currently missing, and 1,871,321 have been displaced.
One of the controversies surrounding this disaster is the slow pace at which disaster aid and relief reached affected populations. Though numerous countries have pledged money and labour to help with the relief efforts, food and supplies only began to reach affected areas one week after the storm hit.
Efforts to bring aid to these regions are hampered by a shortage of trucks, according to the Philippine government. Additionally, local emergency services are also facing challenges brought on by the typhoon. In the city of Tacloban, not even a quarter of the local police force reported for work in the week after the storm, according to the article on the BBC website.
While aid service providers struggle to reach communities that were hit by the storm, citizens in these places are faced with the reality of the devastating impacts of one of the worst tropical storms in recorded history. Bodies which were lying out in the streets have begun to be cleared and buried, and thousands of survivors are trying to leave Tacloban through its local airport. It is likely that this country will be dealing with the effects of this storm for many years to come.
If you are interested in ways you can help, you can check out information online through sites like World Vision and UNICEF.