Philippines

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Adelina Parker lets up on the gas as she drives through her childhood stomping grounds.

“Up there, that was all Filipino farmers and strawberry fields,” Parker says, motioning toward a school and apartments that occupy this land.

Liz Jones / KUOW

After the devastating typhoon struck the Philippines, Jennifer Biyabos, of Lakewood, Wash., started accounting for her family.

Empact Northwest

Sil Wong is a member of the relief group, EMPACT Northwest.  She and several teammates returned Wednesday from a 10-day mission to the Philippines where Typhoon Haiyan has killed more than 4,000 people and left millions more injured or homeless.

In the wake of any natural disaster, there are almost always shortages of fuel. Even in the United States, gas stations shut down during blackouts because there's no electricity to run their pumps.

It was no different in the Philippines, where practically no fuel was available after Typhoon Haiyan struck. Aid agencies said the lack of gasoline was a major impediment to relief efforts.

One small American nonprofit called the Fuel Relief Fund is trying to change that.

Across the ravaged center of the Philippines on Sunday, people flocked to Mass, often in churches that had been severely damaged or destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan.

In many villages in Leyte province, the only structures that survived the storm were churches. Spires and statues of angels look out over fields of smashed houses and twisted typhoon debris.

The 220,000 residents of Tacloban — and millions more across central and southern Philippines — were hunkered down one week ago as Typhoon Haiyan bore down on them.

A week later, "the mood here is very desperate," NPR's Anthony Kuhn said Thursday as he reported from Tacloban for Morning Edition.

AP Photo/Nelson Salting

Last Friday one of the strongest storms in recorded history struck the Philippines. According to the United Nations more than 11 million people are believed to be affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Over 670,000 people have been displaced. Entire towns have been devastated leaving many without water, shelter or any way of contacting their families at home and abroad.

We hear from Yeb Sano, who is in Poland serving as the head of the Philippines' delegation at the UN climate talks, and Seattle resident Justice Beitzel, who has lost five family members to the storm thus far.

Update at 12:30 p.m. ET:

Grim estimates that the death toll in the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan might be around 10,000 appear to have been "too much," President Benigno Aquino III told CNN Tuesday.

Aquino said that as more information has come in about the devastation, the figure is looking more likely to be between 2,000 to 2,500.

Images of the swath of devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the central Philippines are reminiscent of the tsunami's aftermath in Banda Aceh, Indonesia nearly a decade ago.

And indeed, the World Health Organization grades the great typhoon of 2013 as a Category 3 disaster – its most severe category.

"The scale [of the typhoon's damage] is huge," Dr. Richard Brennan of the World Health Organization tells Shots. "It's monumental. This is one of the biggest emergencies we've dealt with in some time."

Monster Storm Roars Into Philippines

Nov 8, 2013
NOAA Photo

Typhoon Haiyan is battering the central Philippines with sustained winds of up to 199 mph. Meteorologists say that if initial estimates based on satellite images are borne out, it could be the most powerful storm ever to make landfall.

Lead in text: 
A stand-off between Philippine troops and Muslim rebels has continued for a second day, with reports of civilians being used as "human shields."
More from KUOW