One of the strongest typhoons on record, Typhoon Haiyan, stormed through the central Philippines, crushing everything in sight on Friday.
The super-storm ravaged the islands with winds reaching between 150 and 190 miles-per-hour. So far, the death toll has reached more than 138 people, but the end results could be staggering. The hardest hit island, Leyte Island, is responsible for at least 118 of those deaths that have been accounted for. Red Cross Secretary General Gwen Pang estimates the toll to rise over 1,000. “The devastation is, I don’t have the words for it,” Roxas said. “It’s really horrific. It’s a great human tragedy.”
Interior Secretary, Max Roxas, says it is too early to know just how many people have lost their lives in this storm. “The rescue operation is ongoing, we expect a very high number of fatalities as well as injured,” he said. “All systems, all vestiges of modern living – communications, power, water – all are down. Media is down, so there is no way to communicate with the people in a mass sort of way.”
Richard Gordon, Chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, says many of the deaths were caused by the high and quickly moving waters. “The waves and the rain were aplenty,” Gordon said. “They are strong, they move fast, but it was the surging seas along the coastline that killed a lot of people.”
With the Philippines in utter desperation, the United States is offering any help they can provide. Secretary of State, John Kerry, released a statement to offer aid to the islands.
“I know that these horrific acts of nature are a burden that you have wrestled with and courageously surmounted before,” he said. “Your spirit is strong. The United States stands ready to help, our embassies in the Philippines and Palau are in close contact with your governments, and our most heartfelt prayers are with you.”
Image via NDN