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article imageOp-Ed: Typhoon Haiyan Day Five - 8 dead in food scramble

By Eileen Kersey     Nov 13, 2013 in Environment
Tacloban - There are some reports that the death toll, from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, may not be as great as earlier reported but the humanitarian crisis in the Philippines continues to grow.
The stench of death is in the air which will ultimately lead to disease and more death unless action is taken and fast.
Wednesday there are reports that eight people died in a scramble for rice.
According to the Guardian "Eight people have been killed in the typhoon-ravaged central Philippines after thousands of Haiyan survivors stormed a government-owned rice warehouse seeking food supplies".
More than 100,000 sacks of rice were taken when the warehouse was stormed. Security forces could do nothing but look on.
Later Wednesday a mass burial was halted when gun-fire broke out. Sky News reports, Alfred Romualdez, the Mayor of Tacloban, said: "We had finished digging the mass burial site. We had the truck loaded with bodies but there was some shooting. They could not proceed." Locals reported members of the military, as well as civilians, firing weapons.
Although aid agencies are mobilised the logistical problems are great.
It was shocking Tuesday to see on UK TV news a huge empty plane arrive in the area. It had been dispatched by the US in order to air lift American citizens out of the country and back to the relative safety of their homeland. Whilst there is nothing wrong with that surely the plane could have brought in some supplies and aid?
Close to the area where the plane was picking up US citizens, battered and broken residents wandered the streets looking for food and shelter. Crazy.
Yes looting continues, but can you blame the starving people for taking advantage? It is that or die. USA Today reported late Tuesday "Some survivors were angry Tuesday about the lack of food, fresh water and medical care. Filipino police and army officers enforced another night of a curfew to try and impose order on this city, which has had no electricity since Friday".
People are increasingly angry that help is taking so long to arrive. Bad weather conditions have hindered aid efforts and added to the people's woes. The idea of angry people has deterred some charitable hand-outs for fear of being swamped or attacked.
The people of the Philippines tend to be Christians. Many still cling to that faith and continue to put on a brave smiling front. Others cannot hold back their heartbreak though.
BBC News
reports Philippine President Benigno Aquino says the death toll from Typhoon Haiyan may be lower than first thought. Speaking to CNN, he said the number of 10,000 killed was "too high" and the figure was more likely up to 2,500.
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This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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