Typhoon Haiyan - Live Blogs - Al Jazeera English

Typhoon Haiyan

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

  • The United Nations has  received $72 million for its relief fund for the disaster-stricken Philippines  with Gulf countries the key contributors, a top UN humanitarian official said 
    on Friday.

    Kuwait and United Arab Emirates have each given $10 million to the UN  appeal for $301 million to help survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, John Ging, the UN humanitarian operations director told a news conference.

    Ging added that more than $80 million has been donated to the Philippines relief effort through other international charities and organizations.

    "Money is coming very quickly," Ging told reporters, while adding: "We have to keep our foot on the accelerator. Too many people have not received assistance but they should know the assistance is on the way."

    The United Nations said Thursday, quoting government figures, that about 4,600 people had been killed. The UN would stop giving toll estimates because the figures were becoming "confusing," Ging said.

    The UN still says that 13 million people have been affected by the typhoon with 1.9 million people displaced and 287,000 homes serious damaged or destroyed.

    [AFP]
  • The Foreign Office said on Friday it was urgently looking into reports that a British man and his family may have been killed by Typhoon Haiyan while visiting the Philippines.

    Colin Bembridge, a 61-year-old pharmacist from the northeast of England, his Filipino partner Maybelle, 35, and their three-year-old daughter Victoria have not been seen since the typhoon struck, Channel Four News reported.

    They were visiting Maybelle's relatives and had hired a beach house in the coastal village of Baybay close to Tacloban.

    But the house was destroyed, leaving only wreckage, including a games consol belonging to the little girl.

    "I just want to know whether they are dead or whether they were blown by the winds," Maybelle's mother Lydia Go, 79, told the broadcaster.

    A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are aware of reports that a British national was killed by Typhoon Haiyan. We are urgently looking into these reports."

    The Philippines raised its official death toll from the super typhoon to 3,621 on Friday, but this is below a United Nations count of at least 4,460.

    [AFP]
  • Journey is donating $350,000 to help relief efforts in the Philippines, and its lead singer has a message for his homeland: "Don't Stop Believin".

    Arnel Pineda and the rest of the band announced the donation on Friday. It will go to the United Nations World Food Programme, which is providing Filipinos with food assistance. The donation should provide 1.4 million meals.

    In a statement, Pineda referenced the group's famous "Believin" song and said "help is on the way.''

    Journey made the donation along with Live Nation Entertainment, Creative Artists Agency and their manager, John Baruck.

    The band is also calling on fans to donate to the cause.

    [AP]
  • The Under-Secretary-General of the UN Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator makes commitment to the people whose homes were destroyed in the typhoon.


  • The UN's World Food Programme has been distributing food daily to people hit by Typhoon Haiyan in the city of Tacloban and in surrounding communities.

    In the early days of the emergency response, the biscuits are a good form of food aid because they are light, easy to transport and require no cooking.

    WFP's biscuits keep survivors going.
    by World Food Programme via YouTube on 9:27 AM

  • Tacloban City, November 16, 2013:

    A ship washed ashore in battered Tacloban city in the Philippines [Reuters/Edgar Su]
    by Yermi Brenner
    The ship is stuck in the middle of what used to be a community [Reuters/Edgar Su]
    by Yermi Brenner
    Local kids wonder in the rubble of what used to be their home [Reuters/Edgar Su] 
    by Yermi Brenner
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  • Al Jazeera's Ted Regencia, reporting from the Philippines:




  • In Pictures: agony in Philippines

    Government and aid workers grapple to get aid to those in need, 600,000 of whom are said to be homeless. View slideshow.

     'The need is massive, the need is immediate, and you can't reach everyone.' Mar Roxas, Philippine interior secretary, said on Friday [EPA]
    by Yermi Brenner





  • Philippine President heading to areas hit hard by typhoon Haiyan.

    [Al Jazeera]

  • Typhoon Haiyan varied degrees of destruction
    by Al Jazeera English via YouTube on 6:21 AM

    The effects of Super Typhoon Haiyan continue to be felt throughout the Philippines. 

    The degrees of destruction vary - some villages have water while others have been leveled to the ground and aid efforts have been uncoordinated and difficult to access. 

    Al Jazeera's Veronica Pedrosa reports from Tacloban, Philippines. 

  • Grieving survivors gathered in shattered churches across the central Philippines, listening to soothing sermons, asking questions of God and feeling a ray of hope.

    About 300 people in Guiuan, the first town to be hit by the super typhoon, attended Sunday mass in the courtyard of the ruined 400-year-old Immaculate Conception church.

    Delivering the homily, Father Arturo Cablao commended the community's strength of spirit, as parishioners -- some of them silently weeping -- stood among twisted roofing sheets, glass shards and mud.

    In Tacloban, hundreds of devotees sat on flood-soaked pews at the 124-year-old Santo Nino church, which had its roof ripped off by Haiyan's ferocious winds.

    Violeta Simbulan, 63, said the priest's sermon promising that God would always be there offered her comfort while trying to cope with losing two cousins and an aunt in the disaster.

    "Yes, I was reassured. As long as I have faith and constantly pray to God," Simbulan said. [AFP]

    Typhoon victims pray in Tacloban [AFP] 
    by AJE Staff

  • The Philippine embassy in Qatar has been collecting donations, and tonight 20 tonnes of perishables, including food, will be loaded onto a Qatar Airways flight to the Philippines. [Photos courtesy of Marvin Tejada]

    by AJE Staff
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  • President Benigno Aquino III said on Sunday that he will stay in typhoon-battered Leyte province until he sees more progress in the aid effort following complaints from survivors that they have yet to receive proper help.

    Aquino is expected to set up camp in Tacloban, the capital of hardest-hit Leyte province, but it is not clear where he will find suitable accommodations amid the ruins.

    Presidential spokesman Ricky Carandang said Aquino wanted to ensure that the distribution of relief goods goes on smoothly and power is restored soon in this city of 220,000 people. [AP]
  • President Benigno Aquino has been touring areas worst hit by Typhoon Haiyan. His government is facing criticism over its slow response to the disaster - as thousands remain cut off from international aid. 

    But as aid starts to pour in for the typhoon survivors, many are now gathering to pray in churches as they face the task of rebuilding their lives. 

    Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas reports from Tacloban city.

    by Al Jazeera English via YouTube on 4:54 PM
  • According to this AP report: More than 1,000 US troops to arrive in typhoon-hit Philippines to assist relief effort.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has been keeping a close watch on the Philippines city of Tacloban, as high temperatures and rainy weather conditions make epidemic prevention work more challenging.\

    Nearly 4,000 are dead and about 1, 200 missing in Tacloban, according to the latest official updates.

    Locals have been exposed to excessive amounts of garbage and debris as well as a large number of dead bodies on the streets. The numbers of people infected with pneumonia and diarrhea have been rising, and some remote regions haven't received basic relief supplies due to traffic disruption.

    - AP
  • Philippine authorities and international aid agencies face a mounting humanitarian crisis, with the number of people displaced by the catastrophe estimated at 4 million, up from 900,000 late last week. 


  • The touching story of a young lady who goes back to her hometown to search for her family.

    Relatives search for typhoon survivors
    by Al Jazeera English via YouTube on 7:51 PM yesterday




  • This image, taken this morning, shows people walking down a road in a Tacloban neighbourhood that was almost completely flattened by the typhoon [AFP]

  • The OpenStreetMap (OSM) initiative has been using volunteer contributions to try and create a detailed map of the areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Since November 7, more than 766 volunteers have been working to put together this map, according to the World Bank.

    You can find out more about the OSM initiative here.

    This map shows the impact on buildings in Tacloban [World Bank] 
    by Asad Hashim



  • Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett has been reporting live from a school in the town of Palo, outside Tacloban, this morning.

    "This is just the remnants of this elementary school, which was serving 405 pupils until the typhoon hit on Friday. As you can see, so much of this coast has just been entirely demolished and this school certainly wasn't spared. We've been talking to the principal here, and he's been here everyday, guarding this school, waiting for some kind of government assistance or at least a face from the government to come in and evaluate whats happened here. He says that no-one has come. But there is this date now that's been set for January 15, for schools up and down this area to reopen and for students to go back to classes. The principal here says that's unrealistic given the fact that he's been here more than a week and there's been nothing yet done to try and recover the situation here at this school.

    "We were talking to other people about the same issue in Tacloban earlier on, and they were saying that really more people are just thinking about just getting out of this area entirely, rather than trying to provide education for their children here in this area. They are thinking that for their children's futures it makes more sense perhaps to migrate.

    "Also, we were in another school which is now an evacuation centre. One room has been set aside for what they call stress debriefings, there's a social worker there who says that they have set up a sort of classroom style environment for children to come, and they don't really go for a school day, but they go for a short while just to draw pictures, sing songs and kind of in some ways deal with what's happened."


    Regarding the government's response, and particular the optimistic timelines being offered for a return to normalcy, Fawcett said that while that was the case, the government was also caught in a difficult situation.

    "There has been alot of anger and criticism, and the government itself has admitted that they've fallen short in certain areas. In a sense, though, they're sort of damned if they do and damned if they don't. If they don't say that we're going to try and get this place back up and running and give some sort of symbol of normal life returning, then the government would face accusations of doing too little. But at the same time, when they're talking about putting in ATMs and getting businesses back up and running ... then they face the potential accusation of getting ahead of themselves.



    by Asad Hashim

  • Philippines receives $1bn in loan pledges for post-typhoon rebuilding

    The Philippines has received loan pledges totalling one billion dollars to help rebuild areas ravaged by Super Typhoon Haiyan, after the World Bank Monday matched an Asian Development Bank offer.

    In a statement, the World Bank said $500 million was "being finalised to support reconstruction" following the devastating storm that tore through the disaster-prone country's central islands.

    "We are committed to supporting the government in its effort to recover and rebuild, and to help Filipinos strengthen their resilience against increasingly frequent extreme weather events," World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said.

    The financial assistance was in response to a government request, the statement added, and came after the ADB last week said it stood ready to provide a $500 million emergency loan.

    "We are working in close collaboration with the government and all other international agencies to provide hope and rebuild the lives of more than 11 million people affected by what is being described as one of the Philippines' worst ever natural disasters," ADB President Takehiko Nakao said on Wednesday.

    The ADB made the pledge as it said $23 million in grants was being provided for immediate relief assistance.

    Early estimates by analysts of the economic cost of the typhoon to the Philippines have been put at around $14 billion.

    [AFP]


  • Pope Francis will appeal for donations for the Philippines as the country tries to recover after being hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan.

    "The pope will ask everyone from cardinals to the simple faithful" to donate aid money for the Philippines, Archbishop Rino Fisichella told a news conference on Monday.

    The appeal will happen as the Pope winds up the Vatican's "Year of Faith" in a Saint Peter's Square ceremony on Sunday. The weekend ceremony is expected to attract tens of thousands of people and will feature the first-ever public display of remains believed to be those of Saint Peter who is considered to be the first pope and founder of the Catholic Church.

    [AFP]
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