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  • Residents in typhoon-hit Guiuan evacuated to this school, but the roof was ripped off by the storm, so they are only using the bottom floor, as seen in this video from Plan International.

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  • "With the relief now flowing, people are starting to get back on their feet... I saw people cooking and selling items in the street, fixing their homes, and clearing roads. At the same time there are still many areas such as Guiuan where almost no assistance has got through to people yet. We still have a huge amount to do and will be standing with and working alongside the Philippines people for as long as it takes."

    by Alisa Tang @TR_Foundation via Thomson Reuters Foundation 11/22/2013 5:49:20 AM
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  • Please can we have our bells back?

    Typhoon-wrecked Philippine town asks U.

    A view of the Roman Catholic church and belfry in the coastal Philippine town of Balangiga devastated by super typhoon Haiyan, November 20, 2013. REUTERS/NATHAN LAYNE 

    Reuters reports: In the devastated coastal Philippine town of Balangiga, animosity has festered for more than a century over the seizure of the town's church bells by U.S. troops during the 1899-1902 Philippine-American WarMarciano Deladia, a chief aide to the mayor, and other residents are thankful for the U.S. packets of rice and other food in the typhoon's aftermath. "But we want our bells back," he said. Two of the bells are at the Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. The third is part of a travelling museum now at a base in South Korea.
    Read more here.

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  • Child survivors of the Philippines super typhoon battle to come to terms with the loss of family, friends and homes

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  • This video shows footage taken at 6am on Friday 8 November as typhoon Haiyan hit Hernani in Eastern Samar, Philippines. Plan International’s Nickson Gensis took this while sheltering on the 2nd floor of a house less than a few hundred metres from the sea
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  • Two British politicians write in the International Business Times today about the needs of women and girls in disasters: Whenever conflict or natural disaster devastates communities, women and girls will face specific dangers because of their gender. In addition to losing their homes and loved ones women and girls also face the added risk of gender based violence, such as sexual assault, domestic violence, trafficking and early or forced marriage.
    by Maria Caspani via Thomson Reuters Foundation 11/21/2013 3:25:19 PM
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  • Charity Plan International, working with Oxfam and CAFOD, is purifying drinking water and constructing pit latrines for at least 100,000 people affected by typhoon Haiyan, Britain's Department for International Development said in a briefing on aid operations in the Philippines
    by Maria Caspani via Thomson Reuters Foundation 11/21/2013 1:09:53 PM
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  • China sends hospital ship and medical team to the Philippines after criticism of a slow and ungenerous typhoon response

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  • "Philippine orphans fled from room to room to escape sea surge " - Officials at an orphanage in the Philippines say they feel blessed that not one child was harmed by one of the biggest typhoons the world has known, even though it reduced most surrounding structures to rubble
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  • As millions of dollars pour in for more than four million left homeless by a typhoon in the central Philippines, authorities are grappling with a familiar problem - how to stop fraudulent claims and prevent greedy politicians taking advantage
    by Magda Mis @TR_Foundation via Thomson Reuters Foundation 11/21/2013 11:21:22 AM
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  • And another from Mary Robinson of the Elders, about how Haiyan should be helping change the whole debate around addressing climate change
    by Laurie Goering @TR_Foundation via Thomson Reuters Foundation 11/21/2013 10:42:03 AM
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  • Really nice blog by Purple Romero from the Philippines, who's at the climate negotiations in Warsaw
    by Laurie Goering @TR_Foundation via Thomson Reuters Foundation 11/21/2013 10:40:43 AM
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  • A team from the International Rescue Committee is in the Western Visayas, one of the hardest-hit regions, yet is has only received limited emergency assistance.
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  • Britain’s Disaster Emergency Committe (DEC) will host a live-streamed Q+A panel discussion about its Philippines Typhoon Appeal on Thursday from 09:00 GMT to 10:30 GMT with a panel of experienced disaster management and aid teams. Follow the discussion and join the debate on Twitter: #askDEC
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  • A net containing the day's catch is hauled out by fishermen from their boat, made from a broken fridge, after they returned to Tanauan November 20, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj  

    by Maria Caspani via Thomson Reuters Foundation 11/20/2013 10:43:28 AM
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  • A boy rests by a boat, made from a broken fridge, that just returned to a destroyed village in Tanauan November 20, 2013. After losing their boats and houses in the Typhoon Haiyan, fishermen of a destroyed village in Tanauan started building two-seated boats made of abandoned refrigerators and some wood. The first boat was made by a fisherman, whose children gave him the idea as they wanted to play in it, and soon others followed. The Philippines and international armed forces and aid agencies are struggling to get help to devastated areas due to the extent of the destruction from Typhoon Haiyan, which has left more than 4,000 dead and 4 million people displaced. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj  

    by Maria Caspani via Thomson Reuters Foundation 11/20/2013 10:42:36 AM
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  • China is sending a state-of-the-art hospital ship to the Philippines following criticism that it was slow and stingy in its response to one of the world's biggest typhoons
    by Maria Caspani via Thomson Reuters Foundation 11/20/2013 10:40:00 AM
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  • Plan International staff got video of the Typhoon Haiyan storm surge washing away a house.
    by Alisa Tang @TR_Foundation via Thomson Reuters Foundation 11/20/2013 10:33:15 AM
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  • With her with her feverish 5-month-old son, Lorna Marciano travelled one and a half hours by motorbike to the clinic in Guiuan. He was diagnosed with dengue and pneumonia - a result of being soaked for three hours when Haiyan struck. "He's our only child," Lorna said as she cradled and tried to comfort him, on Nov. 19, 2013. Thomson Reuters Foundation/Thin Lei Win

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  • boy attempts to fly with his makeshift kite in a typhoon-devastated waterfront
    shanty town in the eastern Samar town of Guiuan, in the aftermath of Super
    Typhoon Haiyan, on Nov.
    19, 2013. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

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  • Typhoon Haiyan has damaged the 2013 main rice crop, harvesting of which was well advanced, and also disrupted planting of the current 2013-2014 secondary season.

    As a result, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has downgraded its forecast for the Philippines’ 2013 rice production to 18 million tonnes from the expectation of a bumper crop of 18.9 million tonnes at the beginning of the season, FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) said in a news release on Tuesday. The rice production shortfall of 900 000 tonnes will be felt disproportionally in the five most affected regions.

    While rice production at the national level is likely to remain close to last year’s level, the damage at the regional level is more severe, FAO said, warning that farmers in typhoon-hit areas could face severe food security and livelihood problems if they do not succeed in planting the next crop in the weeks ahead.

    “Planting of the secondary season, mostly irrigated rice, was well underway and it is expected that crops are severely compromised. If we want to avoid entire regions of the country having to rely on food aid, we need to act now to help vulnerable families to plant or replant by late December,” Dominique Burgeon, director of FAO's emergency and rehabilitation division, said in the news release.

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  • Thomson Reuters Foundation's South East Asia correspondent Thin Lei Win reports from Tinago Evacuation Centre near the port of Cebu in the Philippines:
    by Luke Balleny @TR_Foundation via Thomson Reuters Foundation 11/18/2013 4:38:43 PM
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  • Residents dry rice under sunlight outside the Transfiguration Cathedral, which was damaged by super Typhoon Haiyan, in Palo, south of Tacloban in central Philippines, November 17, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

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  • “Ten days after Typhoon Haiyan, aid is still quite concentrated on Tacloban city and little aid has reached devastated rural areas on Leyte and Samar islands,” writes François Dumont of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

    According to a Monday morning update, MSF - which has staff in Tacloban, further south on the coastal and inlands areas of Leyte island, Samar island to the east and Panay island to the north - has found an increasing number of diarrhoea patients in Dulag, on the east coast of Leyte island south of Tacloban. Team assessments indicate widespread destruction in cities and on islands to the southwest and west of Tacloban.

    ”In Burauen, a city of 55,000 inhabitants, the situation is disastrous,” Federica Nogarotto, emergency coordinator in south Leyte, says in the update. “Nearly 100 percent of houses are damaged or destroyed and the hospital – formerly a 70-bed referral hospital with surgical capacity – is completely damaged.

    Across the region, MSF is setting up tent and inflatable hospitals, as well as mobile clinics.

    MSF on Samar island:

    • An MSF team of 26 is in Guiuan, eastern Samar, working with local Filipino medical
      staff at a rural health unit for the past three days.
    • At the severely damaged Guiuan public hospital, an MSF logistical team is preparing to set up a tent hospital to provide secondary healthcare. Maternal care, including care for complicated deliveries and c-sections, has been identified as a priority, as most of the secondary healthcare capacity has been destroyed. In the coming days, MSF will start rehabilitation work on the hospital building.

    On Leyte island:

    • In Tacloban a team of eight is being reinforced with 10 additional staff from Cebu – including medical doctors, nurses, logisticians and a psychologist – to prepare the parking lot next to Bethany Hospital for setting up an inflatable hospital, which should be up and running in the next few days with an emergency room, inpatient department, operating theatre, post-operative ward, obstetrics & gynaecology unit, maternity delivery room, psychosocial activities, blood bank, X-ray, and an isolation ward in case of tetanus cases.
    • South of Tacloban, starting on Monday MSF teams will provide primary healthcare at a fixed health post in Palo, and through mobile clinics in Talawan and Talosa, as well as basic care in evacuation centres in Ormoc town and the surrounding district.
    • MSF is deploying a combined mobile clinic and assessment team to the town of Santa Fe, near Tacloban, and will provide medical care in Cebu where people being evacuated from Tacloban are arriving.
    • In Dulag town (population 48,000) on the east coast of Leyte island, the health facility has been partially destroyed and the medical staff report an increasing numbers of patients with diarrhoea.
    • The team plans to set up a tented hospital with surgical capacity in Burauen.
    • Forty-seven tons of cargo arrived in Cebu on Sunday and three trucks loaded with logistical and medical materials are on their way to Burauen by ferry, due to arrive on Monday.

    On Panay island:

    • On Sunday, teams carried out further assessments by helicopter of several small islands northeast of Panay island. The northeastern coastline of Panay and the islands have been severely affected, and teams estimate 90 percent destruction. The immediate needs are for shelter and water, while access to healthcare is also a major concern. MSF expects to see many people with respiratory illnesses and diarrhoea.
    • On Saturday, MSF teams also visited the towns of Balasan, Sara, Bagacai, Estancia and San Dionisio in Iloilo province, where many health facilities are destroyed.
    • MSF plans to establish a base in Estancia and carry out mobile clinics from there. Teams will travel by boat to reach the small islands east of Panay.
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  • The risk of skin disease, diarrhoea and tetanus are high in storm-hit central Philippines where homes have been flattened and most of the health infrastructure damaged, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Sunday.

    "One of the emergencies in the short-term is to restore a minimum of access to healthcare for the population," said Jean Pletinckx, MSF emergency coordinator who is overseeing the organisation's response to Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda.

    For more, read our story here
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  • "I have no more tears to cry" - Joy, a typhoon survivor who lost 10 relatives, including her mother when Haiyan hit

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  • Thomson Reuters Foundation correspondent Thin Lei Win talks to evacuated survivors who have made their way to Cebu.

    Ricael Ebar Alcover waited eight days before his knee - which had been pierced by a shard of glass when the typhoon hit - was treated.

    Like many other survivors, Alcover made it to an evacuation centre in Cebu, about 250 kms (155 miles) away from his home - hoping for a job and a place to stay.

    "If my injury is healed and Tacloban is safe again, we can go back," he said wistfully. He shrugged when asked when he expects that to happen.

    For more, read: Evacuated Filipino storm survivors face uncertain future on

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  • The humanitarian situation in the areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) is catastrophic. Over half a million men, women and children are homeless and living in the open, desperate for food, safe drinking water, basic shelter and sanitation.
    A disaster of this magnitude calls for a massive response. The Government of the Philippines mobilized relief operations under extremely challenging circumstances. The humanitarian community has declared the highest level of emergency response.
    The scale and scope of this tragedy has shocked everyone.
    The United Nations and humanitarian partners are mounting a major aid operation throughout the affected area.
    A humanitarian response plan has been launched, seeking $301 million for the United Nations and humanitarian partners to provide emergency food, shelter, clean water and sanitation and health services for six months -- Valerie Amos, United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator 

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  • A girl drinks juice in a church damaged by Typhoon Haiyan during a mass in Tacloban November 16, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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  • Britain has pledged a further £30 million to support the U.N. and Red Cross emergency appeals for the Philippines, Prime Minister David Cameron announced on Saturday.

    The funding will be used to deliver vital supplies to more than 500,000 victims of the Typhoon Haiyan and support UN and Red Cross teams working on the ground as they coordinate the international relief effort, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) said in a statement.

    He also announced that the UK will deploy a C130 plane to help with the relief efforts. The C130 will assist DFID, the U.N. and national authorities with the internal delivery of humanitarian aid and the movement of personnel.
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  • Survivors begin rebuilding homes destroyed by one of the world's most powerful typhoons and emergency supplies flowed into ravaged Philippine islands, as the United Nations more than doubled its estimate of people made homeless to nearly two million.

    But the aid effort was still patchy, and bodies still lay uncollected as rescuers tried to evacuate stricken communities on Saturday, more than a week after Typhoon Haiyan killed at least 3,633 with tree-snapping winds and tsunami-like waves.

    "We are very, very worried about millions of children," U.N. Children's Fund spokesman Marixie Mercado told reporters in Geneva. There are officially 1,179 people missing, according to the national count.

    Survivors and officials in Tacloban, which bore the brunt of the storm, have said the death toll could be many thousands just in the city as more bodies are discovered every hour.

    After long delays, hundreds of international aid workers set up makeshift hospitals and trucked in supplies on Saturday, while helicopters from a U.S. aircraft carrier ferried medicine and water to remote, battered areas where some families have gone without food and clean water for days.

    Aid flown in to Tacloban's congested airport finally trickled into ravaged neighborhoods. Work crews and heavy equipment cleared debris from roadsides, but side streets remained piled with the sodden, tangled remains of homes.
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  • INFOGRAPHIC: Aid for the Philippines
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  • INFOGRAPHIC: Super typhoon Haiyan's death toll
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  • Thin Lei Win, Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Southeast Asia correspondent, reports from the ground in Tacloban, capital of the Leyte province that was hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan
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  • My goodness, it was a good decision; it’s fair to say it saved
    everyone’s life.
    There is not one house left standing on the island, everything
    was wiped out.
    Alfredo Arquillano, former mayor of San Francisco, Cebu Province, commenting on the decision to evacuate the entire island of Tulang Diyot ahead of Typhoon Haiyan.

    Following on from my previous post, here is a story about a community where intensive preparation for disasters paid off.

    The prompt evacuation of 1,000 people from a tiny island that had all
    500 houses destroyed by Haiyan saved the entire population, according to Arquillano, a long-time champion for disaster risk reduction.

    He says residents of Tulang Diyot, an island off San Fransisco,
    should now be permanently relocated and helped to rebuild their livelihoods as fishermen and farmers somewhere safer.

    San Francisco is recognised as a role model by the U.
    N.’s disaster risk reduction agency (UNISDR). Read the full interview here.

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  • These
    people live in small and isolated communities. Their grasp of what a storm
    surge means is limited

    These are the words of World Vision communications officer Cecil Laguardia

    We mentioned earlier this week that people were not prepared for the wall of seawater that crashed inland partly because they did not know the term “storm surge”  - used in weather warnings ahead of Typhoon Haiyan - could mean a tsunami-like wave.

    They expected strong winds and rain, not a massive tidal wave.
    Many survivors are now calling it “a tsunami”. This may not be correct, but it is a word they understand the implications of.

    A tsunami is generated by an undersea earthquake, whereas a storm surge is caused by extremely strong winds. If forecasters had used the phrase "tsunami-like", most people would have understood the gravity.

    This article by Devex again spells out the need for very clear communication ahead of typhoons.

    “I don’t think there was lack of
    information and update from the government, it’s just that down to the grassroots level, they don’t know what a storm surge really is,”  said Oscar Lizardo, weather and disasters expert at the Philippine Department of Science and Technology.

    No one
    expected the storm surge to be as dramatic as it was, but it seems likely that clearer warnings in everyday language could have saved lives.

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  • Carrying few possessions and clutching bottles of coveted water, thousands of survivors leave the devastated island of Leyte to reach Cebu, one week after super typhoon Haiyan ravaged the central Philippines

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  • Typhoon Haiyan may have damaged Tacloban’s infrastructure beyond recognition, but it strengthened the people’s will
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  • Thomson Reuters Foundation hosted a live online debate with aid agencies on Thursday about challenges of relief efforts in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. Here are some quotes from the discussion:
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  • What challenges does typhoon Haiyan pose for aid agencies? Find the answers from six aid agency experts:
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  • A U.S. aircraft carrier "strike group" started unloading food and water to the typhoon-ravaged central Philippines on Thursday.  The nuclear-powered USS George Washington aircraft carrier and four accompanying ships arrived off wind-swept eastern Samar province, carrying 5,000 crew and more than 80 aircraft, after what strike force commander Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery called a "high-speed transit" from Hong Kong.

    "One of the best capabilities the strike group brings is our 21 helicopters," Montgomery said in a statement. "These helicopters represent a good deal of lift to move emergency supplies around."

    Read more in Reuters latest update 

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  • Looking forward to discussing GOAL's response to the situation in the Philippines today at 1200
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  • Looking forward to our live online debate "Typhoon Haiyan - the aid challenge" today: 

    Join aid agencies working in the Philippines for an online debate hosted by Thomson Reuters Foundation’s AlertNet on Thursday Nov 14 at 1200 GMT (0700 EST, 2000 PHT) on the challenges of delivering aid to survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.

    On the panel:
    - Raul Rodriguez, head of disaster response at Plan International 
    - Joe Lowry, senior spokesman, International Organisation for Migration 
    - Patrick Fuller, Asia-Pacific spokesman for IFRC (Red Cross) in Asia-Pacific 
    - Alan Glasgow, Haiyan response team leader, Goal 
    -  Kirsten Mildren, regional information officer Asia Pacific, UN OCHA
    - Abigail Fabian, ChildFund International 

    Send your questions via Twitter #haiyanaid or go here to post a comment directly
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  • The humanitarian devastation in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines shows just how overstretched the global humanitarian community is, John Ging, director of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said Wednesday.

    “One of the biggest constraints that we have is that we can’t fill the warehouses in anticipation of these disasters because we’re overstretched worldwide,” Ging told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen.

    “There are children starving in the Sahel; you look at Syria every day,” he said. “We are chronically underfunded as a humanitarian community, and then when these natural disasters hit us suddenly, we don’t also have the logistical or the supplies to hand.”
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