Monitoring needs after historic Typhoon Haiyan


November 8, 2013

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  • Typhoon Haiyan, thought to be the strongest storm to ever make landfall, battered the central Philippines, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee to safer ground, cutting power lines and blowing apart houses. Photo: Reuters/Zander Casas, courtesy

Editor's note: This post has been updated with new information coming out of the Philippines on Sunday, November 10 (local time). Mercy Corps' emergency teams have been deployed to assess needs and begin delivering aid to survivors.

Super Typhoon Haiyan raged across the Philippines Friday night, leaving a trail of massive destruction in its wake. Our staff in Manila and in the region are monitoring the situation closely and will respond as the needs become clearer.

The government now estimates that as many 10,000 people were killed in what is thought to be the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Its 195-mph winds and torrential rains triggered landslides, tore roofs off buildings and forced more than 800,000 people to flee their homes. Roads are flooded and communications cut off throughout the country.

Early reports indicate that more than 4 million people have been affected in 36 provinces. There is no food, water or electricity in Tacloban City, the largest city in the hardest-hit Eastern Visayas Islands.

But the full extent of devastation from the giant storm — known locally as Typhoon Yolanda — will only become clear in the coming days as authorities reach isolated areas. Numbers are likely to climb when search and rescue efforts make contact with remote towns and islands currently cut off from radio, telephone and electricity service.

Mercy Corps has extensive experience responding to emergencies in the region, including the West Sumatra earthquake and tsunami that hit Indonesia and Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar. We are prepared to help families displaced by this latest disaster.

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