Shopping centres and grocery stores in Tacloban, which appears to have been hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan, have reportedly been stripped of goods as rescuers’ efforts to deliver food and water were hampered by severed roads and communications.
“Tacloban is totally destroyed. Some people are losing their minds from hunger or from losing their families,” high school teacher Andrew Pomeda, said as he warned of the increasing desperation of survivors.
“People are becoming violent. They are looting business establishments, the malls, just to find food, rice and milk. I am afraidthat in one week, people will be killing from hunger.”
Aid agencies have warned that many of the 330,000 people whose homes have been destroyed by the bludgeoning force of the cyclone face a desperate battle to survive.
“People are walking like zombies looking for food,” said Jenny Chu, a medical student.
Nancy Chang, who was in Tacloban City on a business trip from China and walked three hours through mud and debris for a military-led evacuation, said: “It’s like the end of the world.”
Relief efforts are being hampered by the complete destruction of the airport, where seawaters swept through, shattering the glass of the airport tower, levelling the terminal and overturning nearby vehicles.
Approximate number of people who have already died in Leyte alone
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