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article image‘Typhoon Haiyan left many, many dead bodies,' says Red Cross

By Abdul Kuddus     Nov 9, 2013 in World
Tacloban - After the strength of Haiyan weakened in Philippines, initial estimates by the Red Cross put the death toll to more than 1,000 but the actual extent of damage is yet to be assessed.
With communication disrupted by the devastating typhoon, aid agencies, media outlets and rescue teams are finding it difficult to determine the full extent of casualties and damage.
Reportedly some of the areas hardest hit by typhoon Haiyan are yet to be connected.
Rescue teams are struggling to reach far-flung regions, snapped off by washed out roads, choked with debris and fallen trees.
“Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the island of Samar, at 4:40 a.m. local time Friday. Three hours before landfall, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center assessed Haiyan's sustained winds at 195 mph, gusting to 235 mph, making it the fourth strongest tropical cyclone in world history,” USA Today reported.
The category 5 super Typhoon weakened to a category 4 on Saturday, although forecasters predicted it could strengthen again over the South China Sea on its way to Vietnam.
According to the Red Cross, Haiyan killed more than 1,000 people in Tacloban city alone — one of five islands in central Leyte province which suffered a direct hit on Friday. The coastal city lies about 360 miles southeast of Manila.
The chairman of the Philippines Red Cross, Richard Gordon, told BBC News that “the organisation’s focus is helping survivors but that it was providing body bags for the many, many dead bodies."
An aerial footage revealed massive destruction and showed the city almost flattened with debris and dead bodies lying around.
"An estimated 1,000 bodies were seen floating in Tacloban as reported by our Red Cross teams,'' Fox news reported.
Aerial photographs of the widespread devastation predict an increase in casualties. Television footage from Tacloban City showed residents wading through flooded, debris-littered streets and half-submerged cars, Reuters reported.
An estimated 800,000 people were forced to flee their homes and take refuge in evacuation centres. The typhoon has affected about 4 million people in Philippines, according to reports.
Reportedly the Red Cross is at the forefront international efforts to expedite recue and relief operations and temporarily rehabilitate thousands of residents whose lives have been devastated by Haiyan.
Haiyan was the second devastating typhoon to hit the Philippines this year after Usagi in September. Around 20 typhoons strike every year, and Haiyan was the 24th to hit the island nation this year.
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