|Residents walk on a road littered with debris after Super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines November 10. Photo by Reuters/Erik De Castro, courtesy Trust.org|
- CRS will prioritize emergency shelter, water and sanitation, household relief items (blankets, kitchen items, cookware), potable water, and toilets.
- The Department of Social Welfare and Development reports approximately 9.5 million people affected over 9 regions across the Visayas region.
- There are 3 million people located within 30 miles of the direct path. There is a high level of devastation especially in these areas.
- The hardest-hit areas have no water, no food, no electricity or other supplies.
- CRS assessment teams flew to Cebu City today and reached Leyte by boat.
- Most airports remained closed to commercial traffic throughout the 4 regions of the Visayas, with Cebu City open and functioning as the logistics hub for military and UN.The geographic scale, impact, affected numbers, and casualties are being compared to the 2004 tsunami or Haiti Earthquake.
- The government has officially welcomed international assistance.
More Than Half a Million Displaced
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is estimating 618,175 people currently displaced with 435,701 inside 1,458 evacuation centers; though this number will continue to rise. Many people are assumed to be staying in open areas without shelter. These numbers are expected to increase as more information becomes available.
Telecommunications and logistics are the major challenges which means there is still a lack of information from key hard-hit areas; technicians from major telecommunications companies are currently working on restoring the network including Telecoms Sans Frontiere are expected to increase as more information becomes available.
Islands Suffered Severe Damage
The islands of Leyte and Samar have severe damage according to UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) teams who conducted aerial assessments. UNDAC teams described destruction on the scale of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Tacloban City, where much information is already coming out, had a tidal surge of nearly 10 feet. There is no electricity, water or food. While the airport terminal and refuelling stations are completely destroyed, a military aircraft landed yesterday bringing supplies, but was unable to leave due remaining debris and bodies on the runway. It has now been cleared.
A report today from Leyte said that the entire path going north across the island is equally as devastated, including Ormoc City, which is on the western side of the island away from the direct initial landfall hit to Leyte.
From meteorological data on the wind speeds and storm surge, as well as poverty statistics, we must assume that in other parts of the Visayas the scale of the destruction will be vast. Water, hygiene and sanitation, food, medicine, shelter, debris clearance, logistics and communications are immediate priorities according to the Government.