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Philippine President Lowers the Typhoon Death Toll, for Now

Posted by feww on November 13, 2013

UPDATE [12:00UTC on November 13, 2013]: The official death toll from Super Typhoon HAIYAN has climbed to 2,344 with 3,804 others injured and 79 reported missing, said NDRRMC. Some 188,225 houses have been damaged or destroyed .

UPDATE [05:00UTC on November 13, 2013]: At least eight people were crushed to death in Alangalang municipality, Leyte province, after thousands of hungry typhoon survivors stormed a government rice warehouse and carted away more than 100,000 sacks of rice, reported AP.

Condition of people in hundreds of other towns and villages stretching over thousands of kilometers remains UNKNOWN: MSF

The death toll from Super Typhoon HAIYAN Disaster through the Philippines is closer to 2,000 or 2,500 than the 10,000 previously estimated, said President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday.

“Ten thousand, I think, is too much,” Aquino said in an interview. “There was emotional drama involved with that particular estimate.”

However, Aquino acknowledged the fact that the death toll may rise, after information from remote storm-struck areas became available.

“We’re hoping to be able to contact something like 29 municipalities left wherein we still have to establish their numbers, especially for the missing, but so far 2,000, about 2,500, is the number we are working on as far as deaths are concerned,” he said.

HAIYAN has flattened several towns and numerous villages, however the fate of  hundreds of other towns and villages remain unknown, as of posting.

“There are hundreds of other towns and villages stretched over thousands of kilometers that were in the path of the typhoon and with which all communication has been cut,” said an emergency coordinator for Médecins Sans Frontières.

“No one knows what the situation is like in these more rural and remote places, and it’s going to be some time before we have a full picture.”

Many aid workers at the disaster zone also believe the casualty figures quoted by the Philippine President to be wildly inaccurate.

“Probably [the casualty figures] will be higher because numbers are just coming in. Many of the areas we cannot access,” secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross told Reuters.

Red Cross has put the preliminary number of missing at 22,000. However that figure could include people who have since been located.

Disaster Stats as of [06:00am local time – November 13, 2013]

NDRRMC UPDATE No 16- 13NOV2013
Source: Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRMC). [$1 = 43.20 Philippine pesos]

UN Disaster Stats

More than 11 million people are likely affected, with at least 673,000 displaced, said the U.N.

How high was the “tsunami” that struck the Philippines coast?

On November 8, 2013, FIRE-EARTH moderators posted the following on this blog: Extraterrestrial Typhoon Force Generating 20-Meter “Tsunami”

FIRE-EARTH said: Super Typhoon HAIYAN, Probably the Strongest Storm in Modern Era, Strikes the Philippines

FIRE-EARTH Models show storm surges of up to 20 meters high, generated by the Super Typhoon, striking coastal areas in the Bicol Peninsula.

Our models have since re-simulated the typhoon impact using additional data and show that the initial forecast was accurate. The storm surge generated by Super Typhoon HAIYAN created tsunami-like waves, the largest of which was just over 20 meters high as it hit the shorelines near Tacloban City. The waves quickly lost amplitude, however, as they traveled onshore.

Disaster Stats as of [06:00am local time – November 12, 2013]

  • Tacloban City remains the worst affected area with at least 10,000 dead and counting, according to the government estimates.
    • [The Philippine NDRMC has confirmed the number of dead at 1,774, with 2,487  others injured and 82  missing so far. Senior officials have estimated the death toll at more than 10,000.  FIRE-EARTH Disaster Models estimated the casualties at up to 40,000. ]
  • Nearly 10 million people have been affected by the HAIYAN, including 3.5 million who lived directly in the path of the deadly typhoon, who have been hit severely.
  • The official number of those who have lost their homes has increased to about two-thirds of a million people (the actual number of people displaced is 659,268, as of posting).
  • Most of the disaster zone lacks clean water, food, shelter, sanitation, medical supplies, transportation or communication links.
  • Large numbers of victims are roaming around like “zombies” begging for help, and scavenging for food, water and medicine.
  • Significant devastation has been reported along the northeast coast of Iloilo province, especially in Conception and San Dionisio municipalities.
  • Many roads throughout the disaster zone are still inaccessible, due to significant amounts of debris.
  • Dozens of towns and villages in the Cebu province have suffered up to 90% devastation.
  • The town of Guiuanin (population: 44,000) in Samar province is almost entirely flattened.
  • The city of Baco (Population 37,000) in Oriental Mindoro province was 80% under water, according to the UN.
  • There is still no information available on the condition of people in remote areas of the country.

Vietnam

Typhoon HAIYAN was the 14th storm to hit Vietnam this year, leaving at least 14 dead, 4 missing and 81 others injured, according to the country’s National Committee for Search and Rescue.

China

HAIYAN killed at least 7 people in China, including five people in Hainan and two in Guangxi, and left 4 others missing. The cyclone destroyed 900 houses and damaged 8,500 others. It also destroyed 25,500 hectares of crops, with the direct economic losses estimated at 4.47 billion yuan ($734 million), said Xinhua.

“The National Disaster Reduction Commission announced that more than 3 million people in China’s southern provinces of Hainan and Guangdong and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region had been affected by the typhoon.”

Previous UPDATE [13:30UTC on November 11, 2013 ]

  • President Benigno Aquino has declared a state of national calamity and deployed more than 300 soldiers in Tacloban City to quell looting.
  • Aid agencies say about 3.5 million people directly in the path of the typhoon have been severely affected.
  • More than 300 people are confirmed dead and about 2,000 others have been reported as missing in the town Basey, Samar province, according to the provincial governor.
  • “The situation is bad, the devastation has been significant. In some cases the devastation has been total,” a senior politician told reporters.
  • HAIYAN has destroyed up to 90 percent of structures in its path. Some 350,000 homes have been destroyed according to an aid worker. This figure dwarfs the disaster estimates issued by the NDRMC.
  • Dazed survivors are begging for help and scavenging for food, water and medicine on Monday, reported Reuters.
  • “There’s an awful lot of casualties, a lot of people dead all over the place, a lot of destruction,” Richard Gordon, head of the Philippine Red Cross, told the BBC.

This post will be updated throughout the day as more information becomes available.

Super Typhoon HAIYAN: Chronology of Disaster

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