Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

France's top consumer group sues Internet giants

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users pay tribute to South Korea ferry victims

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

  • Why Syria’s cash-strapped jihadists let hostages go

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine separatist crisis overshadows Easter celebrations

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels call for Russian troops after deadly clash

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Anger grows at slow pace of Philippines typhoon relief

©

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-14

Philippine President Benigno Aquino was under growing pressure Thursday to speed up the distribution of much-needed aid to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan as the UN admitted that its response to the crisis had not been swift enough.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino was coming under growing pressure Thursday to speed up the distribution of much-needed food, water and medical aid to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan as the UN admitted that its response had not been swift enough.

The UN's humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos, said the scale of the disaster and the logistical challenges had left some places desperately in need of help, six days after the storm hit.

The USS George, a US aircraft carrier, and its escort arrived off the Philippines’ eastern Samar province on Thursday, carrying 5,000 crew and more than 80 aircraft to help bolster relief efforts.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

"There are still areas that we have not been able to get to where people are in desperate need," she told reporters in Manila. "I very much hope that over the next 48 hours that that will change significantly."

"I do feel that we have let people down," she said.

While international relief efforts have been gearing up, many petrol stations have refused to reopen, denying fuel to the trucks needed to move supplies and medical teams around the devastated region.

A scarcity of trucks has presented grim options, said one local official. “The choice is to use the same truck either to distribute food or collect bodies,” said Alfred Romualdez, the mayor of Leyte, Tacloban’s capital.

“It’s scary,” he told Reuters. “There is a request from a community to come and collect bodies, they say it’s five or 10. When we get there it’s 40.”

Frustration and anger are rising as essential supplies fail to reach their destination. Food and other essentials are piling up at the Tacloban airport, unable to reach those in need.

Downplaying casualties?

Aquino has been on the defensive over the government’s pre-storm preparations given the repeated warnings of its projected strength. He has said the death toll might have been much higher had it not been for the widespread evacuations and other measures put in place before the typhoon hit.

Aquino has also stoked debate over the extent of the casualties by citing a much lower death toll than the 10,000 estimated by local authorities. Official deaths stood at 2,357 on Thursday, a figure aid workers said was expect to rise.

Tacloban city administrator Tecson John Lim told Reuters that Aquino may be deliberately downplaying casualties.

Lim has previously estimated that up to 10,000 people may have died in Tacloban alone.

“Of course he doesn’t want to create too much panic,” Lim said. “Perhaps he is grappling with whether he wants to reduce the panic so that life goes on.”

The preliminary number of missing as of Thursday, according to the Red Cross, remained 22,000. It has cautioned that number could include people who have since been located.

More than 544,600 people have been displaced by the storm and nearly 12 percent of the population directly affected, the United Nations said.

Mass graves

Lim said that some 300 bodies will be buried in a mass grave on Thursday and a larger grave will be dug for a another 1,000 victims.

The government in the city, one of the areas hit hardest by the storm, remains decimated, with just 70 people coming to work compared to its usual 2,500, Lim said. Many were killed or injured, while others have lost family members or were simply too overcome with grief to work.

Lim said 90 percent of Tacloban, a coastal city of 220,000 people, had been destroyed by the typhoon and the wall of seawater that washed ashore.

Only 20 percent of residents were getting aid while houses were being looted because warehouses were empty, he added, while emphasising that these were not acts of petty crime.

“The looting is not criminality, Lim said. “It is self-preservation.”

French medical charity Médécins Sans Frontières (MSF) described a bleak situation in Guiuan, home to some 45,000 people.

“People are living out in the open ... The needs are immense and there are a lot of surrounding villages that are not yet covered by any aid organisations,” Alexis Moens, MSF’s assessment team leader, said in a statement.

The Philippines formally asked longtime ally Washington for help on Saturday, just a day after the storm levelled cities and towns in central areas of the country.

The USS George Washington aircraft carrier – one of eight US ships supporting the aid effort in the region – arrived off the Philippine coast on Thursday, carrying more than 5,000 sailors and more than 80 aircraft. Washington has committed $20 million to the typhoon aid effort.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

 

Date created : 2013-11-14

  • PHILIPPINES

    FRANCE 24 reports from city devastated by typhoon

    Read more

  • PHILIPPINES

    International aid en route to devastated Philippines

    Read more

  • PHILIPPINES

    Rescue efforts hampered by devastation in Philippines

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)