Typhoon Recovery: Situation Deteriorates in the Philippines
In Tacloban, security forces engaged in gun battles with armed gangs, while a hungry mob overran a rice warehouse, causing a partial collapse that killed eight people. Five days after Typhoon Haiyan crushed this south Pacific island nation, international relief efforts have not been able to keep pace with the number of desperate citizens. An estimated 600,000 people have been displaced by the storm. Many of them are homeless, hungry, and thirsty, which is usually a recipe for chaos.
There are plenty of supplies to be found in Tacloban itself, with regular arrivals of food and supplies by C-130 transport planes. The problem lies with distribution. With a large percentage of roads either closed or destroyed, and not enough trucks to do the job, panicked civilians from outlying areas are streaming into the city in search of help.
With planes, trucks, and ships headed for the region bringing generators, water purifying kits, and emergency lights, conditions should improve in the coming days and weeks, but for now, Tacloban’s mayor, Alfred Romualdez, has urged residents to leave the city due to a deteriorating state of civil unrest. In short, local law enforcement is losing control. (Derek Dowell – VNN) (Image: Flickr | Official U.S. Navy Imagery)