Bagyong Yolanda Essay

As RapidFTR scales up deployment in South Sudan to address the massive displacement of the population there (read a story later this week!), our lead for Innovation in Humanitarian Action, Mac Glovinsky, revisits his mission to Tacloban, Philippines to deploy RapidFTR in the immediate aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda last year.  Here are some of his thoughts and pictures.

The city of Tacloban, the most highly affected urban area in Region 8 of the Philippines, was where the team was based and initiated the RapidFTR deployment.  Here, Sri Prassana, one of our rugged software developers, and Jesus Far, UNICEF Philippines Child Protection Officer, survey one of the more damaged Baranguays of Tacloban City, while looking for separated, unaccompanied, or highly vulnerable children.

In our canvassing of the highly affected areas we began to encounter separated or unaccompanied children.  Here, a social worker from the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the municipality of Tacloban City registers an unaccompanied young girl in Tacloban City in the RapidFTR system.

RapidFTR digitized the Philippine standard Family Tracing and Reunification (FTR) form.  Having all these paper forms that you see here simply accessible on a basic Android mobile phone saved a lot of time in collecting, sorting and sharing essential information about unaccompanied or separated children.

The majority of our work was to help our counterparts in the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Women and Child Protection Desk of the Philippine National Police Force.  Here, Sri helps a Woman and Child Protection Desk Officer enter details into RapidFTR.

Along the way several challenges resulted in new opportunities.  Here, a policeman charges his phone with a quick-fix mobile charging device, inspired by the Powerclip, that the team had made with local mechanics and electricians in Tacloban.  The chargers allowed Department of Social Work and Development and Woman and Child Protection Desk officers to charge their phones simply off of motorcycles while in the field registering children.  As much of the affected area was without power, the team found it was essential to ensure a charged phone in the field.

Another incredible opportunity was this group of programming students who were hired by the governor of Leyte to provide technical backstopping and help to the RapidFTR system.  Subhas, our other rugged software engineer on assignment pro bono from Thoughtworks, here in the UNICEF vest, was very impressed with their technical skills.

The damage was severe, especially in the coastal areas.

But the hard work paid off when the teams would find children in need of services and help. Here, Jesus Far and our Department of Social Work and Development counterpart help with the interview process, as the Woman and Child Protection Desk officers enter the child’s data into RapidFTR.

Mac Glovinsky
Lead of Innovation in Humanitarian Action, UNICEF NYHQ

 

Related stories:

Innovations in emergencies reporting from the Philippines – First 6 days

Innovations in emergencies reporting from the Philippines – Days 7-12

RapidFTR serves as a force for change in some of the world’s most complex emergencies

Join Star Wars & UNICEF Innovation to be a “force for change”

print

Tags: Family Tracing and ReunificationMac GlovinskymobilesPhilippinesphoto essayRapidFTRStar Wars: Force for ChangeTyphoon HaiyanTyphoon Yolanda

This article is about the 2013 typhoon. For other typhoons of the same name, see Typhoon Haiyan (disambiguation). For other uses, see Tropical Storm Yolanda.

Typhoon Haiyan, known as Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded. On making landfall, Haiyan devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines.[1] It is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record,[2] killing at least 6,300 people in that country alone.[3] In terms of JTWC-estimated 1-minute sustained winds, Haiyan is tied with Meranti for being the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone on record. In January 2014, bodies were still being found.[4]

The thirtieth named storm of the 2013 Pacific typhoon season, Haiyan originated from an area of low pressure several hundred kilometers east-southeast of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia on November 2, 2013. Tracking generally westward, environmental conditions favored tropical cyclogenesis and the system developed into a tropical depression the following day. After becoming a tropical storm and attaining the name Haiyan at 0000 UTC on November 4, the system began a period of rapid intensification that brought it to typhoon intensity by 1800 UTC on November 5. By November 6, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) assessed the system as a Category 5-equivalent super typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale; the storm passed over the island of Kayangel in Palau shortly after attaining this strength.

Thereafter, it continued to intensify; at 1200 UTC on November 7, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) upgraded the storm's maximum ten-minute sustained winds to 230 km/h (145 mph), the highest in relation to the cyclone. The Hong Kong Observatory put the storm's maximum ten-minute sustained winds at 285 km/h (180 mph)[5] prior to landfall in the central Philippines, while the China Meteorological Administration estimated the maximum two-minute sustained winds at the time to be around 78 m/s (280 km/h or 175 mph). At the same time, the JTWC estimated the system's one-minute sustained winds to 315 km/h (195 mph), unofficially making Haiyan the strongest tropical cyclone ever observed based on wind speed, a record which would then be surpassed by Hurricane Patricia in 2015 at 345 km/h (215 mph).[6] Haiyan is also tied with Typhoon Meranti in 2016 as the strongest tropical cyclone in the Eastern Hemisphere by 1-minute sustained winds; several others have recorded lower central pressure readings. At 20:04 UTC on November 7, the eye of the cyclone made its first landfall in the Philippines at Guiuan, Eastern Samar. Gradually weakening, the storm made five additional landfalls in the country before emerging over the South China Sea. Turning northwestward, the typhoon eventually struck northern Vietnam as a severe tropical storm on November 10. Haiyan was last noted as a tropical depression by the JMA the following day.

The cyclone caused catastrophic destruction in the Visayas, particularly on Samar and Leyte. According to UN officials, about 11 million people have been affected – many have been left homeless.[7]

Meteorological history[edit]

Main article: Meteorological history of Typhoon Haiyan

On November 2, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) began monitoring a broad low-pressure area about 425 kilometers (265 miles) east-southeast of Pohnpei, one of the states in the Federated States of Micronesia.[nb 1] As the system moved through a region favoring tropical cyclogenesis,[9] the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) classified it as a tropical depression early on November 3.[10][nb 2]

The system quickly intensified into a tropical storm, prompting the JMA to assign it the nameHaiyan (Chinese: 海燕; literally: "petrel") at 0000 UTC on November 4.[10] Tracking generally westward along the southern periphery of a subtropical ridge,[12]rapid intensification ensued by November 5 as a central dense overcast with an embedded eye developing; the JMA classified Haiyan as a typhoon later that day.[10] On November 6, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) assigned the storm the local name Yolanda as it approached their area of responsibility.[13]

Intensification slowed somewhat during the day, though the JTWC estimated the storm to have attained Category 5-equivalent super typhoon status on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale around 1200 UTC.[nb 3][15] Later, the eye of the typhoon passed over the island of Kayangel in Palau.[16]

Around 1200 UTC on November 7, Haiyan attained ten-minute sustained winds of 230 km/h (145 mph) and a minimum central pressure of 895 mbar (hPa; 26.43 inHg).[10] Six hours later, the JTWC estimated Haiyan to have attained one-minute sustained winds of 315 km/h (195 mph) and gusts up to 380 km/h (235 mph).[17] The storm displayed some characteristics of an annular tropical cyclone, though a strong convective band remained present along the western side of the system.[17]

At 2040 UTC on November 7, Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in Guiuan, Eastern Samar at peak intensity.[18] The JTWC's unofficial estimate of one-minute sustained winds of 305 km/h (190 mph) would, by that measure, make Haiyan the most powerful storm ever recorded to strike land. This record was later tied by Typhoon Meranti in 2016.[19][20] Interaction with land caused slight degradation of the storm's structure, though it remained an exceptionally powerful storm when it struck Tolosa, Leyte around 2300 UTC.[21] The typhoon made four additional landfalls as it traversed the Visayas:[22]Daanbantayan, Bantayan Island, Concepcion, and Busuanga Island.

Haiyan, with its core disrupted by interaction with the Philippines, emerged over the South China Sea late on November 8.[23] Environmental conditions ahead of the storm soon became less favorable, as cool stable air began wrapping into the western side of the circulation.[24] Continuing across the South China Sea, Haiyan turned more northwesterly late on November 9 and through November 10 as it moved around the southwestern edge of the subtropical ridge previously steering it westward.[25] Rapid weakening ensued as Haiyan approached its final landfall in Vietnam,[26] ultimately striking the country near Haiphong around 2100 UTC as a severe tropical storm.[10] Once onshore, the storm quickly diminished and was last noted as it dissipated over Guangxi Province, China, on November 11.[10]

Preparations[edit]

Micronesia and Palau[edit]

Upon JTWC's declaration of Tropical Depression 31W on November 3, a tropical storm warning was issued for Chuuk Lagoon, Losap, and Poluwat in the Federated States of Micronesia. Further west, Faraulep, Satawal, and Woleai, were placed under a typhoon watch while Fananu and Ulul were placed under a tropical storm watch.[27] The following day, the tropical storm warning expanded to include Satawal while a typhoon warning was issued for Woleai.[28] Much of Yap State and the islands of Koror and Kayangel in Palau were placed under a typhoon watch.[29] The government issued a mandatory evacuation for Kayangel, and although most residents ignored the warning, they all survived the storm.[16] As Haiyan progressed westward, the easternmost advisories were gradually discontinued.[29] As Haiyan intensified into a typhoon on November 5, warnings were raised across Palau and Yap State.[30][31] Government offices in Melekeok were used as an evacuation building for Palau.[32] Despite mandatory evacuation orders, most residents on Kayangel remained on the island and rode out the typhoon.[33]

Philippines[edit]

Shortly before Typhoon Haiyan entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility on November 6, PAGASA raised Public Storm Warning Signal (PSWS) No.1, the lowest of four levels, for much of the Visayas and Mindanao.[34] As the storm continued to approach the country, warnings expanded into Luzon and increased in severity for eastern areas.[35] By the evening of November 7, PSWS No. 4, the highest level of warning which indicates winds in excess of 185 km/h (115 mph) are expected, was raised for Biliran Island, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Cebu, Metro Cebu, Samar, and Southern Leyte.[36][37] Through November 8, the coverage of PSWS No. 4 continued to expand, with areas in southern Luzon being included.[38]

Officials placed police officers in the Bicol Region ahead of the storm.[39] In the provinces of Samar and Leyte, classes were canceled, and residents in flood- and landslide-prone areas were required to evacuate.[40] Some of the storm-threatened areas were affected by an earlier earthquake in Bohol.[41] Then-Philippine President Noynoy Aquino requested the military to deploy planes and helicopters to the region expected to be affected.[42] As Haiyan was moving very fast, PAGASA issued warnings at different levels to about 60 of the 80 provinces, including the capital Metro Manila.[43] On November 8, the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters was activated, providing widespread charitable satellite coverage to relief organizations.[44]

Southern China[edit]

The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters hoisted a level three emergency response in the provinces of Hainan, Guangdong and Guangxi. All fishing vessels were urged to return to ports by noon on November 9.[45] The Hong Kong Observatory issued the Strong Monsoon Signal at 19:10 HKT on November 9,[46] and it was still in place on November 13.[47]

Vietnam[edit]

On November 8, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung activated the highest state of preparedness in the country.[48] Approximately 600,000 people across southern and central provinces were evacuated while a further 200,000 were evacuated in northern provinces. Alerts were sent to 85,328 seagoing vessels, with a collective crew of 385,372 people, to sail to safer waters away from the storm. Requests were sent to China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines to aid any fishermen who needed immediate shelter from the typhoon.[49] Threatening Vietnam after two other typhoons, Wutip and Nari, there were concerns that the storm would cause significant damage to homes with makeshift repairs.[50] Roughly 460,000 military personnel and other authorities were mobilized to assist in evacuation efforts.[49] Hundreds of flights were canceled across the country while schools were closed on November 11. On the small island of Cồn Cỏ, all residents were moved to underground shelters with enough supplies for several days.[51] The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) branches in Vietnam prepared relief stockpiles, consisting of food, water, housing material, and ₫6.6 billion (US$310,000) in funds.[49] The local United Nations Resident Coordinator, Pratibha Mehta, praised the government's actions and credited them with saving numerous lives.[48] However, there were complaints from many residents that the warnings came too late.[51]

Impact[edit]

Micronesia and Palau[edit]

On Kayangel in Palau, a high storm surge damaged several houses,[32] while strong winds downed trees.[16] Despite residents' refusal to evacuate, no fatalities or major injuries took place on the island. Helicopters were flown to the island to survey damage and provide relief supplies. The government planned to evacuate those who were left homeless from the island.[33] Koror, Babeldaob and Kayangel each lost access to water and power.[16] In Koror, winds reaching as high as 120 km/h (75 mph) blew out rooftops and downed trees and power lines. A causeway linking an offshore hospital to the main island was temporarily shut down after being inundated by water.[52] On the northern end of Babeldaob, Haiyan damaged schools and buildings.[32] Lying closest to Haiyan at the time of the typhoon's passage, Kayangel was flooded in its entirety, and all homes were destroyed. Though no people were killed there, 69 others were displaced by the storm.[52]

Philippines[edit]

Damages
Amount
in PH₱in US$
Productive21,833,622,975.09499,969,224.19
Infrastructure9,584,596,305.69219,478,150.03
Social55,110,825,740.691,261,985,554.18
Cross-Sectoral3,069,023,613.4170,277,725.17
Total damages[nb 4]89,598,068,634.882,051,710,653.57

SOURCE: Data gathered from the last update by National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) as of April 17, 2014.[3]


Deadliest Philippine typhoons
RankTyphoonYearDeaths
1September 1881 Typhoon18817004200000000000000♠20,000
2Haiyan (Yolanda)20137003630000000000000♠6,300
3Thelma (Uring)19917003510000000000000♠5,100
4Bopha (Pablo)20127003190100000000000♠1,901
5"Angela Typhoon"18677003180000000000000♠1,800
6Winnie20047003161900000000000♠1,619
7October 1897 Typhoon18977003150000000000000♠1,500
8Ike (Nitang)19847003136300000000000♠1,363
9Washi (Sendong)20117003126800000000000♠1,268
10Trix19527002995000000000000♠995

Sources

Typhoon Haiyan, called Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, caused catastrophic damage throughout much of the islands of Leyte, where cities and towns were largely destroyed.[54] As of April 17, 2016, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) confirmed 6,300 fatalities across the country, 5,877 of those taking place in the Eastern Visayas.[3] The true death toll remains unclear, being claimed to be at least 10,000 by some victims from Tacloban City, Leyte. As of November 13, 2015, the Philippine Red Cross estimated that 22,000 people were missing.

In Surigao City, 281.9 mm (11.10 in) of rainfall was recorded, much of which fell in under 12 hours.[55]Storm surges were also recorded in many places. In the island of Leyte and Samar, PAGASA measured 5–6 meter (15–19 ft) waves.[56] In Tacloban, Leyte, the terminal building of Tacloban Airport was destroyed by a 5.2 m (17 ft) storm surge up to the height of the second story.[57] Along the airport, a storm surge of 4 m (13 ft) was estimated.[58] Waves of 4.6 m (15 ft) were also estimated.[59] On the western coast of Samar, the storm surge was not as significant.[60]

Haiyan's first landfall was at Guiuan in Eastern Samar, where the typhoon touched down at 4:40am.[61][62] Nearly all structures in the township suffered at least partial damage, many of which were completely flattened.[63] For several days following Haiyan's first landfall, the damage situation in the fishing town remained unclear due to lack of communication in and out of the area.[64] The damage could finally be assessed after Philippine Air Force staff arrived in Guiuan on November 10.[65] Prior to this, a local priest was able to take his motorbike from Guiuan to the towns of Cabalogan and Calbayog (also in Samar) armed with photos of the devastation, shot on his mobile phone.[66]

There was widespread devastation from the storm surge in Tacloban City especially in San Jose, with many buildings being destroyed, trees knocked over or broken, and cars piled up.[59] The low-lying areas on the eastern side of Tacloban city were hardest hit, with some areas completely washed away. Flooding also extended for 1 km (0.62 mi) inland on the east coast of the province.[59] City administrator Tecson John Lim stated that roughly 90 percent of the city had been destroyed.[54] Journalists on the ground have described the devastation as, "off the scale, and apocalyptic".[67] Most families in Samar and Leyte lost some family members or relatives; families came in from outlying provinces looking for relatives, especially children, who may have been washed away.[68] The entire first floor of the Tacloban City Convention Center, which was serving as an evacuation shelter, was submerged by storm surge. Many residents in the building were caught off-guard by the fast rising waters and subsequently drowned or were injured in the building.[69]

Although wind speeds were extreme, the major cause of damage and loss of life appears to have been storm surge. The major focus of devastation appears to have been on the east coast of Samar and Leyte, with a particular focus on Tacloban, because of its location between Samar and Leyte, and the large population in low-lying areas.[60] Philippine Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas said the scale of the relief operation that was now required was overwhelming, with some places described as a wasteland of mud and debris.[70]

Sebastian Rhodes Stampa, head of a UN disaster assessment co-ordination team, said there was "destruction on a massive scale" in Tacloban. "There are cars thrown like tumbleweed and the streets are strewn with debris. The last time I saw something of this scale was in the aftermath of the [2004] Indian Ocean tsunami."[59] There is little communication in the city, and no mobile phone coverage. Up the east coast of the Leyte there are numerous towns and villages that are completely cut off without any assistance. Large parts of Leyte and Samar are without power and may have no power for a month.[67]

The storm crossed the Visayas region for almost a day, causing widespread flooding. In Cebu and Bohol, struck by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake two weeks before, cities were also severely devastated.[71] During the morning of November 8, media stations across the country were able to broadcast live the destruction of Haiyan. However, before afternoon, all communications on the Visayas region failed. The Presidential Communications Department of President Benigno Aquino III had difficulty contacting DILG Secretary Mar Roxas and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin in Tacloban City to plan relief.[72] Widespread power interruptions, landslides and flash floods were also reported. Major roads were blocked by trees, and impassable. 453 domestic and international airline flights were canceled. Some airports were also closed on November 8 and 9. Ferries were affected. Relief and rescue efforts were underway by November 9, but some places remained isolated and out of communication due to severe damage.[73]

Haiyan tossed up large car sized boulders onto Calicoan Island in Eastern Samar, some carried uphill 10 meters. The largest weights 180-ton, and is considered the biggest ever moved during a tropical cyclone, since record keeping begun.[74] The NDRRMC finally confirmed a total of 6300 deaths in the Philippines and total damages were estimated at PHP 181.325 billion or 7009364472779443035♠US$3.64 billion.[75]

China[edit]

Typhoon Haiyan reached Hainan Province, where severe damage took place and six people were killed in various incidents.[76] The hardest hit area was Qionghai, where roughly 3,500 people across 20 villages were isolated due to extensive flooding.[77]

30 people were killed, while direct economic losses in China amounted to ¥4.58 billion (US$750 million).[78] An estimated 1.21 million people were affected, of whom 26,300 were evacuated. Two people died while four others went missing after a car fell off a flooded road into a river near Beihai.[79] Losses throughout Guangxi amounted to ¥275 million (US$45 million).[76][80] Approximately 900 homes and 25,500 hectares of crops were destroyed, while 8,500 homes were damaged. Additionally, an estimated 3 million people were affected by the storm throughout Southern China.[81] A cargo ship broke moorings at Sanya on November 8;[82] three members of the crew drowned while four others went missing.[80] One person also went missing off the coast of Lantau Island, Hong Kong.[83]

Taiwan[edit]

Along the coast of New Taipei, 16 people were swept out to sea by three 8 m (26 ft) waves. After several hours of search and rescue, eight were hospitalized while the other eight drowned. This was considered the largest loss of life from waves in Taiwan in several years.[84] Total economic losses in Taiwan were amounted to be NTS 1.7 billion (USD 57.46 million).[85]

Vietnam[edit]

Haiyan made landfall as a severe tropical storm in Quảng Ninh Province on November 10 and produced high winds and widespread heavy rainfall which affected northern Vietnam.[86] Rainfall totals of up to 461 mm (18.1 in) and wind gusts of up to 147 km/h (91 mph) were recorded.[86] Ten people were killed while they were preparing for Haiyan's landfall, while no one was killed after the system made landfall; however, 4 people are missing in Quảng Ninh Province.[86]The death figure is subsequently updated to 14 in addition to 4 missing with 81 people being injured. [87] Most of the deaths are indirectly related to Haiyan.[88]

Aftermath[edit]

Due to extensive damage and high death toll, PAGASA announced that the name Yolanda would be stricken off the typhoon naming lists.[89][90] PAGASA chose the name Yasmin to replace Yolanda for the 2017 season. During their 2014 annual session the ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee announced that the name Haiyan would also be retired from its naming lists on January 1, 2015, and was therefore replaced by the name Bailu.[91]

Philippines[edit]

By November 11, the provinces of Aklan, Capiz, Cebu, Iloilo, Leyte, Palawan, and Samar, were placed under a state of national calamity, allowing the government to use state funds for relief and rehabilitation and to control prices of basic goods.[92] Additionally, approximately ₱30.6 million (US$700,000) had been allocated in relief assistance by the NDRRMC. Local and national agencies deployed a collective 18,177 personnel, 844 vehicles, 44 seagoing vessels, and 31 aircraft for various operations.[3]CBCP also declared 8 days of mourning for victims of the typhoon on the same date.[93]

World Health Organization Representative in the Philippines Dr Julie Hall noted that while many survivors requiring medical attention in the first week suffer from trauma and fractures, the concern shifts toward chronic conditions as the weeks pass. The WHO coordinated the massive international response to help the Philippine government meet the acute need for healthcare services in the affected areas.[94]

Extreme damage to infrastructure throughout the region posed logistical problems that greatly slowed relief efforts. Though aid was flown into local airports, most of it remained there as roads remained closed.[95] According to estimates on November 13, only 20 percent of the affected population in Tacloban City was receiving aid. With lack of access to clean water, some residents dug up water pipes and boiled water from there in order to survive. Thousands of people sought to evacuate the city via C-130 cargo planes, however, the slow process fueled further aggravation. Reports of escaped prisoners raping women in the city prompted a further urgency to evacuate. One resident was quoted as saying "Tacloban is a dead city."[54] Due to the lack of electricity, planes could only operate during the daylight, further slowing the evacuations. At dawn on November 12, thousands of people broke through fences and rushed planes only to be forced back by police and military personnel. A similar incident occurred later that day as a U.S. cargo plane was landing.[96]

On November 14, a correspondent from the BBC reported Tacloban to be a "war zone," although the situation soon stabilized when the presence of government law enforcement was increased. Safety concerns prompted several relief agencies to back out of the operation, and some United Nations staff were pulled out for safety reasons. A message circulating among the agencies urged them to not go into Tacloban for this reason.[97] On the west coast of Leyte Island, residents in Ormoc were fearing that the focus on Tacloban City would leave them without aid. Though not as hard hit, roughly 90 percent of the city was damaged or destroyed and supplies were running low. Hospitals in the city were either shut down or working at partial capacity, leaving many of the nearly 2,000 injured in the city without medical assistance. In nearby Baybay, lack of assistance fueled anger and incited looting for survival.[98]

In the coastal community Guiuan, which took the full brunt of the typhoon, Mayor Christopher Gonzalez is credited with saving countless lives after he incessantly urged residents to evacuate. He referred to the storm as "delubyo (deluge)," which roughly translates to Armageddon. Of the town's 45,000 residents, 87 died, 931 were injured, and 23 others were listed as missing. U.S. Navy Capt. Russell Hays, a medical officer, estimated that a storm of Haiyan's caliber could have killed as many as 4,500 in Guiuan alone had it not been for the mayor's efforts.[99]

On November 18, the government of the Philippines launched an online portal, called the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FaiTH), that provides the public a transparency view of the funds and other aids received by the government from the international community.[100][101]

To lead the management and rehabilitation efforts of the central provinces in the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan, Philippines President Benigno Aquino III appointed Panfilo Lacson as Typhoon Haiyan Rehabilation Czar.[102]

Environmental impact[edit]

Typhoon Haiyan knocked over Power Barge 103 of NAPOCOR in Estancia, Iloilo causing an oil spill.[103][104][105][106] As a result of the typhoon, the government is planning to replant mangroves in coastal areas while preserving the remaining ones.[107] Affected residents were allowed to return to their homes by the Department of Health on December 7, 2013 after an air quality test found out that benzene levels in affected areas reached near-zero parts per million. Earlier, residents were asked to evacuate affected areas as the benzene levels had reached unhealthy amounts.[108]

Looting and violence[edit]

Throughout Tacloban City, widespread looting took place in the days following Haiyan's passage. In some instances, relief trucks were attacked and had food stolen in the city. Two of the city's malls and numerous grocery stores were subjected to looting. A fuel depot in the city was guarded by armed police while 200 additional officers were dispatched to assist.[109]Security checkpoints had since been set up all over Tacloban and a curfew was imposed on residents to prevent more attacks.[110] Philippine military forces also prevented members of the New People's Army from ambushing a relief convoy bound for Samar in Matnog, Sorsogon, killing two.[111] President Benigno Aquino III considered declaring martial law in hopes of restoring order in affected areas.[112][113]

Looting intensified as slow recovery efforts forced residents to seek any means necessary to survive. Tacloban city administrator Tecson John Lim stated, "The looting is not criminality. It is self-preservation." The Chicago Tribune reported that some areas were on the brink of anarchy, though Interior SecretaryMar Roxas denied such claims.[54] Further complicating efforts to retain order was the lack of officers reporting for work. In Tacloban, only 100 of the city's 1,300 police personnel reported for duty.[96] In Alangalang, just west of Tacloban, eight people were crushed to death after the walls of a warehouse collapsed during a raid on a government rice stockpile. Approximately 33,000 bags of rice, each weighing 50 kg (110 lb), were stolen. Warehouses were also raided in Jaro and Palo. Throughout the city of Tacloban itself, people began looting from homes as stores had been completely emptied.[54]

Criticism of government response[edit]

Condemnations of slow government action in the relief effort in response to the typhoon mounted days after the storm had passed. Media reports criticized the Aquino administration for apparent lack of preparation and coordination among government agencies in the aid operation.[114][115] Up until November 12, five days after the typhoon struck, survivors continued to struggle with basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter while remote towns in Leyte and Samar were yet to be reached by aid.[116] The Philippine government responded by saying that they have dealt with the tragedy "quite well" but the response had been slow due to the breakdown of the local governance in affected areas where officials and employees, who were usually the first to respond in these events, were victims of the typhoon themselves.[117] Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said that the national government had to take over despite logistical challenges and assured it is working toward providing aid the quickest way possible to the survivors.[118]

Comparison between Haiyan and Katrina
Typhoon Haiyan near Palau on November 6
PAGASA raised rainfall warning advisory in the Central and Eastern Visayas during the passage of Haiyan (Yolanda).
PSWS Map in the Philippines during the passage of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).
Animated enhanced infrared satellite loop of Typhoon Haiyan from peak intensity to landfall in the Philippines
Animated satellite comparison of power outages across the Visayas following Typhoon Haiyan.
Map of damaged houses by municipality showing track of storm, from the United Nations, as of November 18, 2013
An aerial view of Guiuan, the town where the typhoon made its first landfall
Destruction in Basey, Samar after the typhoon passed over the town.
The remains of a home destroyed by the storm in Tacloban City.
Color coded map of Eastern Visayas showing the number of deaths caused by Typhoon Haiyan.
  More than 1,000
  500-999
  100-499
  50-99
  25-49
  1-24
  0

One thought on “Bagyong Yolanda Essay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *