Typhoon Haiyan survivors begin to rebuild amid reigning confusion and delays in aid

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Manila ( AsiaNews / Agencies) - Almost a week after the disaster brought on by Typhoon Haiyan , the survivors desire to rebuild their lives is being hampered by confusion and delays in distributing aid .


Emergency teams, non-governmental organizations, the military, government commissions and foreign bodies are flocking to Manila especially overcrowding the small airport in Tacloban , the capital of the island of Leyte, among the hardest hit. The planes arrive filled with staff and aid - mainly food, water and body bags - and leave carrying wounded and displaced persons.


The Philippine government has to deal with the most devastating natural disaster in its history: 2300 registered deaths; 3853 injured ; 11.5 million people affected; 545 thousand displaced persons; 240 thousand houses destroyed and 4.1 billion pesos ( 94.2 million of U.S. dollars) of damage to infrastructure and agricultural crops.

Rescue teams and aid are still hampered in their movement: roads destroyed or obstructed by debris, lack of vehicles, lack of fuel. The needs are so numerous and huge and the resources available still so few that - as confirmed by some witnesses - the same trucks are used in part to load the corpses , partly to bring water and food to survivors.

The typhoon survivors are attempting to return to some form of normalcy sweeping the rubble , rebuilding the wooden shacks, collecting the dead in a common area.


Since the distribution of aid is slow, there are reports of "attacks" on supermarkets, the looting of homes or gas stations for food, water and fuel for cooking.

Tecson John Lim , mayor of Tacloban , said that at least 90 % of the city was destroyed by the typhoon and that now only 20% of the 200 thousand inhabitants have received aid . This is also why people are looting. " The looting - he says - is not an expression of crime , but a desire for self-preservation".

The need for greater coordination is increasingly urgent because different countries have promised to send military as rescue teams.

The United States will arrive later today the aircraft carrier George Washington, that will serve as the basis for the helicopters used to distribute aid , in addition, more than 5 thousand soldiers will be able to help in the rescue operations .

Japan is also sending 1,000 soldiers , as well as ships and aircraft and has already sent medical teams to the area, in addition to a donation of 10 million dollars.

China has decided to donate 10 million yuan ( about 1, 64 million U.S. dollars) in material for the emergency Indonesia has donated one million dollars. Meanwhile, three of its navy vessels are coming to Cebu bringing food rations, tents and medicine .

According to Cesar Purisima , Philippine Minister of Finance , the gross domestic product of the affected area will be reduced by 10%. The region hit by the typhoon contributes 12.5% ​​of the national wealth.



Source: asianews.it (Nov. 14, 2013)

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