November 10, 2013
MANILA — Philippine officials struggled to respond Sunday to the vast trail of devastation left by Typhoon Haiyan, which unleashed its fury on a central city, likely taking thousands of lives, causing widespread destruction and leaving disorder and looting in its wake.
The typhoon on Friday left the city of Tacloban in ruins, as a storm surge as high as 13 feet overwhelmed its streets, with reports from the scene saying most of the houses had been damaged or completely destroyed in the city of 220,000. More than 300 bodies have already been recovered, said Tecson Lim, the city administrator, adding that the toll could reach 10,000 in Tacloban alone.
President Benigno S. Aquino III arrived Sunday in Tacloban to meet with some of the victims of the storm and to coordinate rescue and cleanup efforts. His defense secretary, Voltaire Gazmin, described a chaotic scene there.
“There is no power, no water, nothing,” Mr. Gazmin said. “People are desperate. They’re looting.”