SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

November 13, 2013

Aid slow for hard-hit areas in Philippines

(Continued)

“People are just scavenging in the streets. People are asking food from relatives, friends. The devastation is too much. ... The malls, the grocery stories have all been looted,” he said. “They’re empty. People are hungry. And they (the authorities) cannot control the people.”

The storm also killed eight people in southern China and inflicted hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to farming and fishing industries, Chinese state media reported Tuesday.

The Philippines, an archipelago nation of more than 7,000 islands, is annually buffeted by tropical storms and typhoons, but Haiyan was an especially large catastrophe. Its winds were among the strongest ever recorded, and it may have killed more people than the previous deadliest Philippine storm, Thelma, in which about 5,100 people died in the central Philippines in 1991.

The country’s deadliest disaster on record was the 1976 magnitude-7.9 earthquake that triggered a tsunami in the Moro Gulf in the southern Philippines, killing 5,791 people.

Tacloban is near Red Beach on Leyte Island, where U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur waded ashore in 1944 during World War II and fulfilled his famous pledge: “I shall return.” The scene is re-created in a monument on the shore. After the typhoon, one of the seven statues — but not the one of MacArthur himself — was toppled over.

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