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article imageOver 1,000 may be dead as result of Philippine typhoon

By Ken Hanly     Nov 9, 2013 in World
Tacloban - The Philippines Red Cross estimates that more than 1,000 people have been killed in the coastal city of Tacloban, the capital of Leyte province, where the storm made landfall.
The eastern part of Samar province just to the north was also badly hit with estimates of 200 being killed there. However many areas are still inaccessible. Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross, said on Saturday said that these numbers were estimates from preliminary reports of Red Cross teams operating in Tacloban and Samar. Most houses were destroyed or severely damaged.
Major Rey Balido spokesperson for the national disaster agency said:"An estimated more than 1,000 bodies were seen floating in Tacloban as reported by our Red Cross teams, In Samar, about 200 deaths. Validation is ongoing." The official government toll on Saturday night local time was just 138.
One of the worst hit places was Tacloban with about 220,000 people. The city is almost at sea level and the whole city was flooded, according to reports. Communications with the city officials had yet to be re-established. The town of Palo, south of Tacloban, was reported to be under three-and-a-half meters of water. As Richard Gordon head of the Philippine Red Cross points out in the video below, the casualty reports are just estimates.
Gordon said: "We are trying to bring in our people but it is very hard to get our people in right now," he said. But tomorrow morning we are sending in people with clearing equipment so we can cut the debris all along the highway so we can get in." After visiting towns along the coast of Leyte where the typhoon made landfall Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said: "Imagine a strip one kilometre deep inland from the shore, and all the shanties, everything, destroyed,"
Typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda in the Philippines, is now headed for Vietnam. Authorities have ordered more than half a million people to leave their homes as the storm approaches. The storm is expected to hit Vietnam Sunday afternoon. In Danang, 120,000 people living in coastal areas have been evacuated to storm shelters and over 216,000 from Quang Ngai province. The storm was downgraded to a category 4 from 5 after leaving the Philippines but it could gather strength before landing again in Vietnam.
Ferry service and airports in the central Philippines were still closed. The air terminal at Tacloban has been destroyed but two C-130 transports were able to use the runway to land. Last year, Typhoon Bopha destroyed three towns in the large southern island of Mindanao killing 1,100 people and causing over a billion dollars in damage. Al Jazeera has a live blog that follows news of the typhoon and has more videos and photos as well.
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