Philippines Devastated by Record Typhoon

Reports of horrific destruction are starting to emerge after one of the strongest storms on record slammed the Philippines over the weekend. The government estimates that 10 percent of the country has been affected.
November 11, 2013, 5am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"As rescue workers struggled to reach some areas along a heavily damaged chain of Philippine islands, survivors described a toll that this impoverished country will be contending with for years," reports Chico Harlan. 

"Entire regions are without food and water, and bodies are strewn on the streets, after a typhoon that had much the look of a tsunami, with waves as high as two-story buildings. Photos and videos showed towns ground to a pulp. With reports of widespread looting, President Benigno Aquino III said he was considering declaring a state of emergency or martial law in the hard-hit city of Tacloban."

"With unconfirmed wire service reports of about 10,000 dead in Tacloban alone, Typhoon Haiyan threatened to become the deadliest disaster in Philippine history, surpassing Tropical Storm Thelma, which killed 5,000 people in 1991," notes Harlan.

Though the storm made landfall on Friday, crippled communications infrastructure has hampered efforts to understand the scope of the damage. A massive relief operation is just getting underway.


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Published on Sunday, November 10, 2013 in The Washington Post
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