Latest updates on the powerful storm that caused death and destruction in the Philippines.
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Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas speaking from the Philippines capital Manila says communication has been and still is impossible.
"The problem has been how to get communication lines back up. They need to understand what is needed and where.
The government says the typhoon has affected more than 4 million people.
Most of the areas are still in the dark, many islands not able to communicate with those outside. They think it will take some days to reach those affected.
All in all, most of those islands are still without contact."
According to AFP, one Philippine official says it's likely hundreds have been killed. "I think hundreds," Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said on ABS-CBN television when asked how many people had died in the coastal town of Palo and surrounding villages that he visited on devastated Leyte island.
A UN official, Rhodes Stampa has 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."Amna Bagadiat 12:53 PM
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Speaking from Tacloban in Leyte province, one of the hardest areas hit by Typhoon Haiyan
Al Jazeera's Jamela Alindogan said that the local government fears that the death toll could reach thousands, estimating possibly tens of thousands in Leyte province alone.
Describing her experience during two hours in the eye of the storm, Jamela said:
"At 4:45am local time, we started feeling the wrath of the typoon, we moved to the second floor, from there I could see roofs being blown away.
In ten minutes the water started going up really quickly, and we were trapped, we in the hotel with the other guests, all stuck and had no where to go, so we broke into a small stock room where the supplies were and we managed to get in.
Me and my colleague climbed up to the roof near the ceiling ready to jump to the water and we managed to find empty barrels to hold so we could float if we wanted to jump.
We were holding on to the ceiling and the whole roof blew away in an instant, and for the next two hours it was just like that.
The noise, the sound was incredible, is hard to explain, it's like a beast just there, and you can't see but you can feel it and there is just debris flying everywhere, for two hours we were exposed.
From there we made out way out, everything we had had been swept away, except the clothes on our backs.
And we started to see a lot of dead people around, everything has been flattened, everything has been destroyed, it was a ghost town and it's incredible how just two hours of this massive typhoon destroyed this whole province.
It's unknown what the rescue situation is, we're not seeing a rescue operation but we're just seeing a lot of helicopters overhead. There is looting, we need security as the situation becomes more desperate it becomes more precarious.
The government is saying it tried to conduct forced evacuations of many coastal villages, as many people live by the coastline.
The government is estimating at about 20, maybe 30,000 people must have been killed, and I think those stuck in the water will die as the rescuers cannot reach them any time soon."
Vietnam has started evacuating over 100,000 people from the path of Haiyan, state media reports. Mass evacuations are taking place in central Danang and Quang Ngai provinces, the Tuoi Tre newspaper said.
Many schools have closed and people from vulnerable low-lying coastal villages are moving to temporary typhoon shelters set up in public buildings on high ground.
Although Haiyan is expected to weaken slightly, it is still considered a super typhoon with the potential for "complicated developments", said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at an urgent meeting on Friday.
[AFP]AJE Staffat 9:44 AM
News are coming in from local media as communications are gradually being restored.
Radio station DZBB is reporting that a storm surge at least 5 metres high hit Tacloban City in central Philippines at 8pm local time on Friday. At the city’s airport, which is next to the sea, there were two dead people spotted, according to the radio station.
Three people were also killed in Coron, Palawan, where the typhoon made its 6th and last landfall before exiting the Philippines.AJE Staffat 9:04 AM
The typhoon is now over the South China Sea and has weakened to the equivalent of a category 4 hurricane. It is expected to weaken further as it heads towards Vietnam.
The exact location of landfall in Vietnam is uncertain, with different weather models taking it on slightly different paths. Currently it looks like the storm will skirt up the eastern coast, affecting Hue and places to the north.
When it makes landfall in Vietnam is it expected to be the equivalent of a category 2 hurricane, with winds of 175 kph. The vast amounts of rain expected are of great concern.AJE Weather Teamat 9:08 AM
New pictures from local TV show the extent of the damage.
More than 100 dead after Typhoon Haiyan hit Philippines
One of the strongest storms on record has killed more than 100 people and injured another 100 in the central Philippines before sweeping west toward Vietnam on Saturday, still packing destructive winds capable of blowing away houses and uprooting trees.
Capt. John Andrews, deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, told The Associated Press that more than 100 bodies were lying in the streets and another 100 were injured in Tacloban city where the storm made landfall on Friday.
The Philippine television station GMA reported its news team saw 11 bodies, including that of a child, washed ashore Friday and 20 more bodies at a pier in Tacloban hours after the typhoon ripped through the coastal city.
At least 20 more bodies were taken to a church in nearby Palo town that was used as an evacuation center but had to be abandoned when its roofs were blown away, the TV network reported. TV images showed howling winds peeling off tin roof sheets during heavy rain.
Surigao, in northern Mindanao, reported 253 mm of rain from the storm. The storm is moving through quickly, around 40 kph, so the torrential rainfall should be short-lived; the rain could have been worse.AJE Weather Teamat 11:29 AM yesterday
Latest run of the model brings Haiyan directly to Hue, Vietnam. Impact would be around 6 GMT on Sunday with sustained winds of 165 kph and gusts of 195 kph.AJE Weather Teamat 11:20 AM yesterday
All communication to Tacloban have been lost. Population of the city is over 220,000.AJE Weather Teamat 11:03 AM yesterday
The eye of Super Typhoon Haiyan has now cleared the island of Panay and is in the Sulu Sea.AJE Weather Teamat 10:53 AM yesterday
The Philippines often is struck by tropical systems, on average it sees 20 every year. It was hit by the strongest cyclone of 2012 when Typhoon Bopha left about 2,000 people dead or missing on the southern island of Mindanao. Super Typhoon Haiyan is stronger than Bopha.AJE Weather Teamat 10:51 AM yesterday
Haiyan is expected to make a second landfall in Vietnam on Sunday.AJE Weather Teamat 10:41 AM yesterday
Super Typhoon Haiyan has now been a super typhoon for over 50 hours.AJE Weather Teamat 10:36 AM yesterday
It's estimated that 14 million people in the Philippines will be affected by winds of at least that of a category one hurricane.AJE Weather Teamat 10:01 AM yesterday
Major concerns for the city of Tacloban, the capital of Leyte. Much of the city has an elevation of less than 3 metres; the storm surge was believed to be 3.5 metres.AJE Weather Teamat 8:52 AM yesterday
Three hours before landfall the winds were estimated as 310kph, which makes it the fourth strongest ever recorded and the strongest on record ever to make landfall.AJE Weather Teamat 8:43 AM yesterday
Major concerns for the city of Tacloban, the capital of Leyte. Much of the city has an elevation of less than 3 metres; the storm surge was believed to be 3.5 metres.AJE Weather Teamat 8:52 AM yesterday
As the storm crossed the island of Leyte, at 0 GMT, the sustained winds were 295kph, gusting to 360kph.AJE Weather Teamat 8:51 AM yesterday
The most powerful cyclone of the year is now crossing the Philippines. Super Typhoon Haiyan is the equivalent of a category five hurricane, on the five point scale where five is the strongest.AJE Weather Teamat 8:31 AM yesterday
A resident of Capiz told Al Jazeera that the island province, also in central Philippines suffered major damage.
"A lot of people lost their homes. Most of the homes are made of light materials, so they were easily swept away by the typhoon. The houses made of concrete were not spared, as the roofs were also blown away. I can see trees and electric posts all knocked down. There's no electricity or water." - Jed Daria Dillo
Reuters is reporting that roads in the coastal city of Tacloban in the central Leyte province, one of the worst-hit areas, were either under water or blocked by fallen trees, power lines and debris from homes blown away by Haiyan.
Bodies covered in plastic were lying on the streets.
Rhoda Stampa, head of the UN Disaster Assessment Coordination Team sent to Tacloban said, "there are cars thrown like tumbleweed and the streets are strewn with debris."
Pictures have emerged from Tacloban city in the central Philippines where Al Jazeera's Jamela Alindogan reported from a little while earlier.
The Philippine Red Cross: reports suggest at least 1,000 people were killed in the coastal city of Tacloban and at least 200 in hard-hit Samar province by Typhoon Haiyan.
Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross, said the numbers came from preliminary reports by Red Cross teams in Tacloban and Samar, among the most devastated areas hit by the tayphoon on Friday.
"An estimated more than 1,000 bodies were seen floating in Tacloban as reported by our Red Cross teams," she told Reuters.
"In Samar, about 200 deaths. Validation is ongoing." She said she expected a more exact number to emerge after a more precise counting of bodies on the ground in those regions.
Al Jazeera's Jamela Alindogan's account of being caught in the eye of #typhoon #Haiyan.
AFP is reporting that more than 200,000 people crammed into Vietnam storm shelters and soldiers helped reinforce vulnerable homes as a super typhoon bore down on the country Saturday after leaving a deadly trail of devastation in the Philippines.
It is expected to make landfall in central Vietnam early Sunday, with millions of people thought to be in its path.
Authorities have begun mass evacuations in at least four central coastal provinces, Vietnam's state-run VNExpress news site said, as the country was put on high alert.
"More than 200,000 people have evacuated to shelters -- some shelters are overloaded," VNExpress said.
The army has also been mobilised to provide emergency relief with some 170,000 soldiers assisting people after the typhoon hits.
Many schools in the affected area -- normally open at the weekends – have closed, as people from exposed low-lying coastal villages move to higher ground.
An aerial view shows damaged houses on a coastal community, after Typhoon Haiyan hit Iloilo Province, central Philippines on November 9, 2013. [Reuters]
Richard Gordon, Chairman of Philippine Red Cross, told Al Jazeera that his team
are finding it difficult to bring in their people to aid victims and survivors in the city of Tacloban at the moment.
President Benigno Aquino III said the casualties "will be substantially more," but gave no figure or estimate. He said the government's priority was to restore power and communications in isolated areas to allow for the delivery of relief and medical assistance to victims.
The Philippine Red Cross and its partners were preparing for a major relief effort "because of the magnitude of the disaster," said the agency's chairman, Richard Gordon.
The airport in Tacloban, a city of 200,000 located about 580 kms southeast of Manila, looked like a
muddy wasteland of debris on Saturday, with crumpled tin roofs and upturned cars. The airport tower's glass windows were shattered, and air force helicopters were busy flying in and out at the start of relief operations.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Aquino was “speechless'' when he told him of the devastation the typhoon had wrought in Tacloban.
"I told him all systems are down," Gazmin said. "There is no power, no water, nothing. People are desperate. They're looting."
Nichola Jones, British Red Cross delegate in Cebu said: "The typhoon has left total devastation in its wake - houses have been wiped out and entire towns affected. Trees are uprooted, power lines are down and there is severe flooding."
"We now fear that thousands of people may have lost their lives."
According to a statement released by the Britis Red Cross, their teams have arrived in the city of Tacloban in Leyte, which bore the brunt of the storm when it made landfall on Friday.
However, their efforts have been hampered by the complete destruction of communication and transport links, with many roads into the affected areas completely blocked.
It is estimated hundreds of thousands of people have seen their homes destroyed. More than 125,000 people were evacuated in Samar and, many of whom may not have a home to return to at all.
[British Red Cross]
The United Nations are now saying that 4.3 million people are affected by the typhoon in 36 provinces of the Philippines, in a report published by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
As Typhoon Haiyan left a trail of destruction in the Philippines, authorities in Vietnam on Saturday have now ordered the evacuation of more than 500,000 people from their homes as the Typhoon approaches Vietnam.
According to Vietnam's national weather forecast, Typhoon Haiyan, which has been classed as one of the strongest on record, is expected to hit central Vietnam on Sunday afternoon.
In Danang, about 120,000 people living near the sea have been evacuated to shelters.
An estimated 216,000 people were being evacuated in Quang Ngai province.
Around 147,000 people in Quang Nam and 120,000 in Thua Thien Hue provinces were being moved to safer ground, according to disaster officials.
"We have surpassed the wrath of the storm ... It will be a tragedy if we mess up in the aftermath," said Philippine President Benigno Aquino.
Initial estimates are showing that approximately 10,000 people have died in the central Philippine province of Leyte, the regional police chief told Reuters.
More to follow.
Typhoon Haiyan has left a trail of destruction across the central Philippines. The Red Cross says the death toll could be in the thousands as the country is beginning recovery efforts.
Al Jazeera's Craig Lesson reports from Manila.
Typhoon Haiyan, possibly the strongest typhoon to hit land, has devastated the central Philippine city of Tacloban, with at least 100 people dead and most houses destroyed, officials said.
The death toll and damage is expected to rise as rescue workers and soldiers reach areas cut off by the storm.
"Bodies are lying on the street," said Captain John Andrews, deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, citing a 5 am message from a station manager. The national disaster agency has yet to confirm the toll.
About a million people took shelter in 37 provinces after President Benigno Aquino appealed to those in the typhoon's path to leave vulnerable areas.
Last year, Typhoon Bopha flattened three towns in southern Mindanao, killing 1,100 people and causing damage of more than $1 billion.
The following video shows footage of Super Typhoon Haiyan as it hit the central Philippine city of Tacloban.
The following footage shows the aftermath after Typhoon Haiyan hit the central Philippine city of Tacloban.
Another tropical storm in the same areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan could impact and hamper recovery efforts, according to AccuWeather.
The tropical disturbance heading from Papua New Guinea is expected to track through the Philippines in a trajectory similar to that of Haiyan. The storm itself is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm and hit with heavy rain by early Wednesday morning.
The rain could trigger flash flooding problems leading to possible mudslides. While the winds are much weaker than typhoon strength winds, gusts could toss debris and cause additional hazards.
While there have been preliminary estimates of 10,000 dead in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. "Local government officials think the number could reach 20 or 30 thousand people," Al Jazeera's Margot Ortigas reported from Manila.
Millions of people have been affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan. "There are still other provinces where people have still not heard from their relatives," Al Jazeera's Margot Ortigas reported from Manila.
The typhoon is possibly the strongest to have hit land affecting more than 4.3 million people according to United Nation estimates.
Google has launched a Person Finder for people looking for missing persons in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. You can find the Person Finder here:
Most of the deaths in the central Philippines appear to have been caused by surging sea water strewn with debris that many described as similar to a tsunami, levelling houses and drowning hundreds of people.
"We had a meeting last night with the governor and the other officials. The governor said, based on their estimate, 10,000 died," chief superintendent Elmer Soria, a regional police director, told Reuters news agency. "The devastation is so big."
The national government and disaster agency have not confirmed the latest estimate of deaths, a sharp increase from initial estimates on Saturday of at least 1,000 killed. [Reuters]
Leo Dacaynos, a member of the Samar's disaster management council, said on DZBB radio that 300 people were confirmed killed in Basey, a small town on the eastern Philippine island of Samar. Almost 2,000 other people were missing in Basey and other Samar towns, he added.
This was the first confirmation of large-scale fatalities in the island of Samar after Haiyan made landfall on the island before dawn Friday. However, vast areas of Samar, an island of over 733,000, still have not been contacted over two days after the typhoon struck. [AFP]
Villagers in the central Philippines have been asking for food and water, with all the shops, markets and grocery stands remaining closed.
One resident, Rey Rendo, was among several villagers who took food from a nearby grocery store in order to survive.
"What is important for us are clothes and water. We have no problem with food right now because we found storage with lots of food that's being given away," he said.
Another resident, Jenny De la Cruz, who is eight months pregnant, lost 11 members of her family, including her two-year-old daughter, when the typhoon hit.
"I can't think, I don't know what to do. Right now all we can do is survive the day, but I don't know what will happen tomorrow or the day after that, or if we can continue surviving. I really do not know," she said.
City officials said they were struggling to retrieve bodies and send relief supplies to survivors. They also reported widespread looting as authorities struggled to restore order and repair shattered communications. [Reuters]
Photos of the aftermath in Tacloban, one of the worst struck cities where at least 10,000 are feared to be dead
Al Jazeera's Wayne Hay, reporting from Tacloban, said that the city is in absolute disarray.
"People are still searching for missing friends and family members," he said, "and for any food and water they can get their hands on."
He reported that the military is arriving at the destroyed Tacloban airport and bringing some supplies, but that it is "clearly still not enough".
"One of the biggest problems is shelter, and those military planes have been taking a very small number of people away to other parts of the country," but most people have been staying in makeshift shelters in overcrowded Tacloban schools and sports stadiums, he said.
Witnesses and officials have described chaotic scenes Tacloban, with hundreds of bodies piled on the sides of roads and pinned under wrecked houses.
"People are walking like zombies looking for food," said Jenny Chu, a medical student. "It's like a movie."
Mila Ward, an Australian citizen and Filipino by birth who was in Leyte on vacation visiting her family, said she saw hundreds of bodies on the streets. "They were covered with blankets, plastic. There were children and women," she said.
Looters rampaged through several stores, witnesses said, taking whatever they could find.
"They are taking everything, even appliances like TV sets. These will be traded later on for food," said Tecson John Lim, the city administrator. [Reuters]
Six people were killed and dozens wounded during heavy winds and storms in central Vietnam as Haiyan approaches the coast, state media reported.
The typhoon weakened substantially on Sunday to 166km per hour with stronger gusts, and was forecast to lose strength further when it hits northern Vietnam's Thanh Hoa province early Monday morning.
But the storm is still likely to cause heavy rains, flooding, strong winds and mudslides as it makes its way north in the South China Sea.
Vietnam authorities have moved 883,000 people in 11 central provinces to safe zones, according to the government's website. [Agencies]
President Benigno Aquino III landed in the Philippines city of Tacloban on Sunday to get a first-hand look at the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan.
Aquino said the casualties will be "substantially more" than the official count of 151, but gave no figure or estimate.
He said the government's priority was to restore power and communications in isolated areas to allow for the delivery of relief and medical assistance to victims. [AP]
The Armed Forces of the Philippines have uploaded some aerial views of Guiuan, from the Eastern Samar province on their Facebook:
"One hundred percent of the structures either had their roofs blown away or sustained major damage. Nearly all coconut trees fell. We saw people in the streets, seemingly dazed. Trucks and cars were left in the streets where they were stopped in their tracks. The only reason why we have no reports of casualties up to now is that communications systems in Region 8 are down."
China has announced its highest alert for Typhoon Haiyan as six crew members of a cargo boat were reported missing.
The China Meteorological Administration on Sunday hoisted the "red" signal, the highest in its four-tier warning system, as the typhoon brushed the southern island province of Hainan.
Six people were lost at sea after the mooring rope of their vessel was cut in the storm, causing the ship to drift, the official Xinhua news agency said. [AFP]
Al Jazeera's Jamela Alindogan reports from the island of Leyte in Central Philippines on the devastating effects of the typhoon there:
More photos of survivors in Talcoban, Philippines:
Typhoon Haiyan expected to make landfall in Vietnam late on Sunday. The Red Cross said Haiyan's changed path meant "the disaster area could be enlarged from nine provinces to as many as fifteen."
Michael Annear, Red Cross country representative, told AFP, heavy rain and flooding was like to hit the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi.
All schools in the capital will be closed on Monday.