Phillippine Typhoon May Have Killed 10,000
A typhoon that battered and terrorized the residents of Phillippine’s Leyta Island may have caused up to 10,000 deaths. The islands central city of Tacloban was hit by storms whose surges were as high as trees and collapsed some buildings.
There have been already 300-400 bodies recovered.
The typhoon’s winds reached speeds as high as 147 miles per hour with gusts of 170 mph. Central and northern Vietnam were in the path of the typhoon and more than 500,000 people were evacuated.
Philippine Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon said an international response with a relief effort was already in place.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Phillippine president Benigno Aquino III was "speechless" when he was informed. Gazmin added, "I told him all systems are down. There is no power, no water, nothing. People are desperate. They're looting."
Philippine-born Australian Mila Ward, 53, said, "On the way to the airport we saw many bodies along the street. They were covered with just anything _ tarpaulin, roofing sheets, cardboards."
Tacloban is in the vicinity of Red Beach on Leyte Island where U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur waded ashore in 1944 to keep the promise he made in March 1942 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt told him to leave and he stated, “I shall return.”
ABS-CBN television anchor Ted Failon said the storm surge was "like the tsunami in Japan . . . The sea engulfed Tacloban." UNICEF estimated roughly 1.7 million children could be affected by the typhoon.