Typhoon Haiyan: Experts fly in to Philippines as death toll reaches 1,200

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

More than 1,200 people are feared dead in the Philippines after one of the most powerful storms ever recorded left a trail of destruction across large parts of the archipelago.

Click here or "view gallery" to see the Typhoon Haiyan in pictures

About 1,000 people are believed to have died in the city of Tacloban when Typhoon Haiyan swept through it on Friday, according to the Philippines Red Cross. About 200 people also died in the Samar province, the Red Cross said.

Sandy Torotoro, a Tacloban resident, said that he was swept away when his house was ripped from its moorings by the 147mph winds.

“When we were being swept by the water, many people were floating and raising their hands and yelling for help. But what can we do? We also needed to be helped,” he said.

Sebastian Rhodes Stampa, head of the UN Disaster Assessment Coordination Team sent to Tacloban, said: “The last time I saw something of this scale was in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami.

”This is destruction on a massive scale. There are cars thrown like tumbleweed and the streets are strewn with debris.“

Tacloban, a city of 220,000 people on Leyte Island about 360 miles southeast of the capital Manila, appears to have been the area worst affected by the storm. Its airport was also badly damaged although relief helicopter flights were operating from there on Saturday.

Fallen trees and destroyed houses in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, eastern island of Leyte

Captain John Andrews, deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Authority, said: ”Bodies are lying on the street.“

Major Rey Balido, a spokesman for the national disaster agency, said: ”Almost all houses were destroyed, many are totally damaged. Only a few are left standing.“

On Friday Typhoon Haiyan's winds triggered major landslides and knocked out power supplies, forcing 800,000 people to flee their homes. About 4 million people have been affected by the typhoon, the Philippines national disaster agency said.

At least 138 people have been confirmed dead by the Philippines' Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and at least 118 of the confirmed deaths were on Leyte Island, national disaster agency spokesman Maj. Reynaldo Balido said.

In the western Palawan province, officials said three fishermen died after jumping off their anchored boat when it was battered by big waves. One fisherman survived.

At least two people were killed on the tourist destination island of Cebu, according to reports.

Officials started evacuating residents from low-lying areas, coastlines and hilly villages as early as Tuesday, but some people stayed behind, despite the warnings.

”I saw those big waves and immediately told my neighbours to flee. We thought it was a tsunami,“ said Floremil Mazo, a villager in southeastern Davao Oriental province.

The category 5 ”super typhoon“ hit the Philippines on Friday morning local time with waves 15m high battering the shoreline. The storm’s estimated wind speeds of 147mph at landfall were 24mph stronger than those of Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest storms in history, which killed 1,833 people. Haiyan weakened to a category 4 storm on Saturday.

Relief workers said they were struggling to find ways to deliver food and other supplies, with roads and airports affected by flooding and debris.

The UK has sent a team of three experts to the country to assess the extent of the damage, after which the Government will decide upon its response, a spokeswoman for the Department for International Development (Dfid) said. The team is expected to land in the Philippines on Saturday.

Ben Webster, disaster response manager for the Red Cross, said: ”Preparedness is strengthening over the years as agencies become more proficient at preparing for disasters, technology is improving so we can forecast a bit more reliably, so it is getting better in terms of preparation.”

The British Red Cross has already contributed more than £100,000 to the relief effort from its Disaster Fund.

Haiyan was the second category 5 typhoon to hit the Philippines this year after Typhoon Usagi in September. An average of 20 typhoons strike every year, and Haiyan was the 24th so far this year.

The typhoon is forecast to make landfall at about 10 am (03:00 GMT) Sunday on the northeast coast of Vietnam and meteorologists have warned that the storm could pick up strength as it moves over the South China Sea.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker