Typhoon Haiyan - Live Blogs - Al Jazeera English

Typhoon Haiyan

Latest updates on the powerful storm that caused death and destruction in the Philippines.

  • Hundreds of residents crowded the badly-damaged Tacloban airport hoping to get a flight out of the devastated city.

    Inside the terminal building, the elderly sat patiently along with mostly women and children as they waited for flights on board a Philippine military plane that will take them to the capital Manila.

    Priority is given to the sick, infants and elderly. Many of the residents say they don't mind the long wait, which could take days.

    "We waited in line because there were a lot of dead bodies where we were staying and my children are starting to get sick because of the smell, that is why we will head to Manila," said Vivian Villamos who, along with her two children, were among the lucky ones to get on Tuesday's flight.

    Tacloban, a once-vibrant port city of 220,000 is now a corpse-choked wasteland without any sign of a government, as city and hospital workers focus on saving their families and securing food.

  • US and UK are sending warships to help the Philippine relief efforts -Reuters
  • The death toll from the massive typhoon that hit the Philippines is likely closer to 2,000 or 2,500, not the previously reported figure of 10,000, President Benigno Aquino told CNN in an interview on Tuesday.

    "The figure right now I have is about 2,000, but this might still get higher," Aquino told CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour in an interview was posted on CNN's website.

    "Ten thousand, I think, is too much," he told CNN. "There was emotional drama involved with that particular estimate."

  • Residents who waited overnight for military transport to leave the town, stand in the rain as Philippines C-130 aircraft arrive, after super typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban City in central Philippines [Reuters]

  • Grammy-winning Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias, whose mother is from the Philippines, urged his fans to give money to help victims of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.

    "HELP THE PHILIPPINES! People in the Philippines need our help right away! Please consider donating to Haiyan disaster relief. You'll feel good that you did," the 38-year-old wrote on his official website beside a link to the web page of the American Red Cross.

    Iglesias, whose hits include "Hero" and "Cuando Me Enamoro", is currently on tour in the US.

    He is the third and youngest child of veteran Spanish singer Julio Iglesias and socialite and magazine journalist Isabel Preysler, who moved to Madrid from the Philippines when she was a teenager - AFP

    [Photo: Getty Images]

  • Britain's Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday sent her "heartfelt condolences" to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which swept through the Philippines over the weekend.

    "I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of life and devastation caused by the typhoon that hit the Philippines at the weekend," she said in a message sent to Philippine president Benigno Aquino III.

    "Prince Philip joins me in offering our heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families at this difficult time.

    "Our deepest sympathies go out to all those whose lives have been affected."

    A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the monarch would contribute to Britain's rescue appeal, which has raised £1.5 million ($2.4 million) in the 15 hours since it was launched on Tuesday.

    The television appeal was set up by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), a group of 14 UK aid organisations including Action Aid, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, Islamic Relief, Oxfam and Save the Children.

    The government will match all donations up to £5 million, and on Monday announced it was sending a warship and transporter plane to help the relief operation.

  • AT&T and Verizon are offering free calls and texts to the Philippines for customers trying to contact friends and family there in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

    AT&T wireless customers will be eligible for unlimited calls and texts until Nov 30. Landline and U-verse voice customers will get up to 60 minutes of direct-dial calling to the Philippines. 

    The offer is retroactive to last Friday, when the typhoon hit the island nation, displacing more than 600,000 people. 

    Verizon is waiving charges on residential landlines through Dec 7, also retroactive to Friday. Wireless customers who aren't under prepaid plans are also eligible.

    Sprint says it's still reviewing its service-relief offerings. Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile say they are also letting people send texts to donate $10 to selected charities. The donations will be added to phone bills.

    The wireless carriers are waiving the usual text messaging charges and processing fees, so that the entire amount goes to the charities.

    Meanwhile, Apple is letting people donate to the American Red Cross through its iTunes online store. Apple says the entire amount will go to the charity.

  • A Navy official says the US has decided to send two amphibious warships to the Philippines to help with disaster relief.

    The official says the USS Germantown and USS Ashland will get underway soon from Sasebo, Japan, where they are deployed. The official was not authorised to speak publicly about the matter, so requested anonymity.

    Pentagon press secretary George Little said the department is working to send whatever is needed to help the Philippines, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

    Officials are struggling to get food, water, shelter and medical equipment to the more than 11 million people estimated to be affected by the storm. 

    The aircraft carrier USS George Washington, which is carrying helicopters and equipment to provide fresh water, is also heading to the Philippines.


  • Relief operations in this typhoon-devastated region of the Philippines picked up pace on Wednesday, but still only minimal amounts of water, food and medical supplies were making it to the hardest-hit areas.

    Aviation authorities said two more airports in the region had reopened, allowing for more aid flights.

    International agencies and militaries were also speeding up operations to get staff, supplies and equipment in place for what will be a major humanitarian mission.

    The damaged airport on Tacloban, a coastal city of 220,000 almost completely destroyed by Friday's typhoon and coastal surge, has become the major hub for relief work.

    A doctor at a makeshift clinic here said supplies of antibiotics and anesthetics arrived Tuesday for the first time.

    "Until then, patients had to endure the pain,'' said Dr. Victoriano Sambale.

  • Philippines official says eight people are dead in looting of government warehouse in typhoon-ravaged Philippines town.


  • Eight people were crushed to death as a huge crowd of typhoon survivors stormed a rice warehouse near the devastated city of Tacloban, a Philippine official has said.
    "One wall of our warehouses collapsed and eight people were crushed and killed instantly," on Tuesday, Rex Estoperez, spokesman for the National Food Authority, the government's rice trading agency said.
    Police and soldiers were guarding the warehouse in Alangalang town, 17km (10 miles) from Tacloban, but were overpowered by the crowd, who carted off more than 100,000 bags of rice, Estoperez added.
    "There must have been so many people to carry away so many bags of rice," he said, adding that each bag weighed 50kg.
    "Our staff were there but they could not do anything without risking their safety."
    The United Nations fears that 10,000 people may have died in Tacloban alone when Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, smashed into the Philippines' central islands on Friday.
    The typhoon left huge areas isolated and hundreds of thousands homeless and hungry.

  • Soldiers load relief goods to a truck
    in Tacloban, Leyte province, central Philippines
     [AFP/Noel Celis]
    by Safeeyah Kharsany

  • Three hundred people are feared dead in Somalia, after Typhoon Haiyan hit the country, the local government says.
  • Handout picture released by the African Union. In the town of Jowhar where almost 4,000 people have been displaced [AFP/Tobin Jones]
    by Safeeyah Kharsany

  • Philippine security forces exchanged fire on Wednesday with armed men amid widespread looting of shops and warehouses for food, water and other supplies in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan, local television reported.
    The firefight occurred in the village of Abucay, part of worst-hit Tacloban in Leyte province, said ANC Television.
    Military officials were unable to immediately confirm the fighting.
  • Desperation grips Philippine storm survivors: Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas reports from Cebu Island

  • by Safeeyah Kharsany

    Al Jazeera's Ted Regencia, @tedregnecia, reporting from Tacloban, sent through the following images. He says that Leyte Highway, bordering the southern towns of  Dulag, MacArthur, Tolosa and Tanauan - of 65km has been destroyed.

    by Safeeyah Kharsany
    by Safeeyah Kharsany
    by Safeeyah Kharsany
    by Safeeyah Kharsany

  • Al Jazeera's Ted Regencia, reporting from Tanauan town in Leyte, where at least 600 people have been killed according to the wife of the mayor, Penelope Tecson, said that conditions in the region were so dire that operations were taking place in a town hall that has been converted into a makeshift hospital.

    The roof of the hall had been destroyed by the typhoon though, and rains have continued to pelt the area. 

    Our correspondent send through the following videos of an emergency C-Section performed by volunteer doctors/medics from the Medical Missions, Mammoth Lake, California.

    The group, led by Dr. Michael Karch, was one of the
    first medical volunteers who arrived in Leyte.
    They were headed to Chiapas,
    Mexico, when they heard of the disaster in the Philippines, said Regencia.

    The patient Ann Cheryl Orongan is also from Tanauan
    own in Leyte, and gave birth to a baby girl. 

    Follow the following links to view the videos:



  • Gunshots forced the delay of a mass burial of victims of the huge typhoon that smashed into the Philippines, the mayor of the badly-affected city of Tacloban told AFP news agency.

    "We had finished digging the mass burial site. We had the truck loaded with bodies ..but ..there was some shooting ..they could not proceed," Alfred Romualdez said.

    Forensics officers "were with them. But on their way there, they were asked to go back by the security escorts," he said.

    "They were ordered to turn around by the [police]."

    The delay is a further setback to authorities' efforts to remove the scores of bodies that still litter streets in the areas worst hit by the enormous storm last Friday.

    Doctors are warning that in the tropical heat of the Philippines, the bodies will soon become a source of disease.

    Correspondents in the area report the smell of corpses hanging in the air while an official said the recovery of bodies had stopped because they "ran out of bags". 


  • Typhoon victims stand by a car at the remains of a petrol station in Tacloban, on the eastern island of Leyte [AFP/Philippe Lopez]
    by Safeeyah Kharsany

  • Philippines relief efforts in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, known as Yolanda by Filippinos, have been boosted by a crowdsourcing initiative with digital helpers from around the world.

    Online volunteers have mapped where the worst affected areas are and rated the level of damage on the website, MicroMappers Image Clicker.

    Visit the interactive page here: aje.me

  • The latest video report from Wayne Hay in the Philippines: Typhoon affected areas bear risk of disease spreading. Please also check our new story on the website here: goo.gl

  • Meanwhile, Al Jazeera's Steff Gaulter report on what role climate change could have played in the formation of such a huge storm.

  • Al Jazeera's Melissa Chan meanwhile reports from San Francisco how Filipino-Americans are raising funds for typhoon victims.

  • The Obama administration says the number of US troops helping the relief effort in the typhoon-hit Philippines could triple to more than 1,000 by the end of the week.

    Senior administration officials said on Wednesday that after a very difficult first few days, logistical problems blocking aid to the hard-hit city of Tacloban are starting to ease.

    They say an overland route to the city has opened up, which should speed up the distribution of relief supplies.

    Some 307 troops are in the Philippines, but more Marines should depart soon from Okinawa, Japan.

    So far, US forces have evacuated about 800 Filipinos from Tacloban. They are also transporting Philippine security forces to restore order to the region, where violence and looting has occurred. 

    Officials say the security situation is improving.

  • US President Barack Obama on Wednesday encouraged Americans to donate money to support aid for survivors.

    Obama bemoaned the "awful destruction" of the typhoon, one of the most powerful on record, and directed Americans to the White House website where they could link up with aid organisations working to alleviate the suffering.

    "Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of the Philippines as they mourn so many loved ones and neighbors lost in the awful destruction of Typhoon Haiyan," Obama said.

    "The friendship between our two countries runs deep, and when our friends are in trouble, America helps," Obama said in a statement.

    "With so many families and communities in the Philippines in urgent need of food, water, shelter and medicine, even small contributions can make a big difference and help save lives."

    US officials meanwhile voiced optimism that American assets including cargo planes and versatile Osprey aircraft would help bring help to victims still cut off by the storm.

  • Climate change may have boosted Haiyan

  • Two men push a motorcycle during a heavy storm in Tacloban, on the eastern island of Leyte [AFP/Philippe Lopez]

  • United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said that aid must reach desperate Philippine typhoon survivors more  quickly, amid reports of hunger and thirst in stricken neighbourhoods.

    "The situation is dismal. Those who have been able to leave have done so.  Many more are trying. People are extremely desperate for help," Amos told reporters in Manila on Thursday.

    "We need to get assistance to them now. They are already saying it has taken too long to arrive. Ensuring a faster delivery is our... immediate priority."

    Criticism is growing that help is taking too long to arrive in Tacloban and  other areas that were splintered by Typhoon Haiyan when it swept through the  central Philippines last Friday.
    by Safeeyah Kharsany edited by Amna Bagadi 11/14/2013 8:16:05 AM

  • Corpses of victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan are lined up in Tacloban, on
    the eastern island of Leyte [AFP/Philippe Lopez]
    by Safeeyah Kharsany

  • Reuters reports that the death toll in Tacloban has reached 4,000, a notice board at City Hall said, nearly double the nationwide toll provided by the government in Manila.
  • The Philippine government is defending its efforts to deliver assistance to victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

    Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said Friday that "in a situation like this, nothing is fast enough.''

    Roxas was speaking in the hard-hit city of Tacloban, most of which was destroyed by the storm one week ago.

    Government officials have given different death tolls, both actual and estimated, as a result of the disaster.

    The spokesman for the country's civil defense agency, Maj. Reynaldo Balido, confirmed early Friday that the figure had risen to 2,360, hours after the United Nations issued conflicting reports on how many people had died.

    Some officials estimate that the final toll, when the missing are declared dead and remote regions reached, will be more than 10,000.

    At least 600,000 people have been displaced, many of them homeless.

    The pace of the aid effort has picked up over the last 24 hours.

  • Workers are trying to contain an oil spill after Super Typhoon Haiyan damaged a barge in central Philippines.

    Almost 500,000 litres of oil was spilled into the sea when the powerful typhoon slammed the country on November 8.

    Officials said the spill has spread over the two-kilometre stretch of the coast of Iloilo.

    Iloilo was on the path of the typhoon, one of the strongest ever recorded, but did not suffer damages as bad as Tacloban in the eastern part of the country.

  • Al Jazeera's Step Vaessen reports from Bantayan, on northern Cebu Island, where survivors on the tiny island have been left without help, because it was thought that all the islanders had been killed in the disaster.

  • Al Jazeera's Veronica Pedrosa (@vpedrosa) reporting from Ormoc City, west of Tacloban City, said that the extent of the destruction was enormous.

    She said that government's department of health's contingency plan had become obsolete because reserve aid for such disasters, which had been held up in Tacloban, had been destroyed in the typhoon's destruction.

    She said that communication remained a probem as well with communication between central Philippines and outlying areas, like Ormoc.

    "Some of the outlying areas have not heard from the central government as yet."

    Pedrosa said that because the government systems were not as developed as in other countries, officials were grappling with the magnitude of the situation.

    "But," she said, "local governments are getting on with it and trying to organise themselves."

    More soon ...
  • A man and woman wash hospital stretchers they retrieved from typhoon debris, at the Divine Word hospital which still operates without electrical power on the 7th day of the Typhoon Haiyan disaster in Tacloban, on the eastern island of Leyte [AFP/Philippe Lopez]

  • The death toll from all the provinces hit by last week's typhoon has risen to 3,621, a top Philippine civil defence official has confirmed, as the daunting task of burying the dead continued in Tacloban, the city hit hardest by the monster storm.

    The latest figure is a jump of more than 12-hundred from the previous toll of 2,360 that had been announced earlier in the day by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

    The new figure announced on Friday surpassed the estimated 2,500 deaths that President Benigno Aquino III had predicted earlier this week.

    In Tacloban on Friday, teams of volunteers and firefighters continued to lower the remains of scores of unidentified victims into a mass grave the size of an Olympic swimming pool at the city's hillside cemetery.

    Some officials estimate that the final toll, when the missing are declared dead and remote regions reached, will be more than 10,000.

    At least 600,000 people have been displaced.

    Authorities are struggling to meet their immediate needs, an expected occurrence after major disasters, especially in already poor countries where local and national governments lack capacity.

    The pace of the aid effort has picked up over the last 24 hours, according to reporters who have been in the region for several days.

  • Al Jazeera's Veronica Pedrosa, reporting from Ormoc City, to the west of Tacloban City, said that people in the area, which was largely poor, were doing what they could. She said that they had not heard from the central government as yet.

  • Relief teams are scrambling to get aid to survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, one week after the storm struck.

    If you are a Typhoon Haiyan survivor or relief worker, Al Jazeera would like to hear your stories.

    Share comments, photos and videos on the Al Jazeera YouTube aje.me and we will publish them on AlJazeera.com.
  • While much of the world's attention is on the Philippines, there are also devastating floods in Somalia's northeastern Puntland region.

    At least 300 people have died and the UN estimates tens of thousands more are in need of food, water, shelter and medical supplies.

    As Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow reports, many of the roads have been washed away, forcing aid agencies to deliver supplies on foot.

  • Climate Change Commissioner for the Philippines, Yeb sano, is on his 5th day of fasting, after making a vow to fast until "a meaningful outcome is in sight," referring to the current  UN climate change conference in Warsaw, Poland or more commonly known as "COP19." 

    He gave this speech a few days ago:

    Tearful Speech By Philippines Man After Super-Typhoon Haiyan
    by The Daily Conversation via YouTube on November 12 at 12:09 AM

  • Relief teams are scrambling to get aid to survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, one week after the storm struck.

    If you are a Typhoon Haiyan survivor or relief worker, Al Jazeera would like to hear your stories.

    Share comments, photos and videos on our special Philippines page on YouTube and we will post them on Al Jazeera.

    Philippines typhoon tragedy: Share your story
    by Al Jazeera English via YouTube on 12:58 PM

  • Philippines government spokesman, Ricky Carandang, updates Al Jazeera on the current relief efforts:

    by Al Jazeera English via YouTube on 4:23 PM

  • Guiuan used to be a picturesque tourist town with a 16th century church as one of its main attractions, but now it has all gone.
    The US military is airlifting relief goodsaround the clock and have taken control over the destroyed air field.
    Aid is just starting to reach the area, as Al Jazeera's Step Vaessen brings us this report.

    by Al Jazeera English via YouTube on 9:32 PM

  • Dead bodies still litter the road sides, like garbage, one survivor said, waiting to be picked up, while the living struggle for basic necessities in Tacloban.

    Running water is now a prized commodity while petrol is in high demand. 

    Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas reports from the city of Tacloban - where the situation still remains dire.

    by Al Jazeera English via YouTube on 9:08 PM

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