Super Typhoon Haiyan is likely to have left more than 10,000 people dead in the Philippines – even though government figures officially list the death toll from the world’s strongest recorded storm at less than 2,000.
Haiyan – which is currently impacting Vietnam – slammed into the Philippines on Friday packing maximum sustained winds of 195 miles per hour. That’s the strongest tropical system to make landfall in recorded history.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes in the wake of the system, while millions more are without food and water. Philippines president Benigno Aquino III declared a “state of national calamity” in response to the storm, which appears to have decimated literally everything in its path.
“I don’t believe there is a single structure that is not destroyed or severely damaged in some way – every single building, every single house,” U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy told TVNZ after taking a helicopter flight over what remains of Tacloban, a city of a quarter million people that was directly in the path of the storm.
“We saw bodies everywhere,” Kennedy added.
“Tacloban is totally destroyed,” one local schoolteacher told The Philippine Daily Inquirer. “Some people are losing their minds from hunger or from losing their families. People are becoming violent. They are looting business establishments, the malls, just to find food. I’m afraid that in one week, people will be killing from hunger.”
Known locally as “monster typhoon Yolanda,” the full extent of Haiyan’s devastation won’t be known for days … maybe weeks.
We’ll be sure to update you periodically …