POSTED: Monday, November 11, 2013 - 7:53am
UPDATED: Monday, November 11, 2013 - 7:53am
TACLOBAN, Philippines (CNN) — Three days after Super Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the Philippines, the world is just beginning to understand the scope of the devastation left behind. Aid is beginning to arrive in areas hardest-hit by the historic storm, and the grim task of recovering and counting the dead has begun.
Here are the latest developments in the wake of the storm:
- The Philippine president declares a "state of national calamity"
- Pope Francis sends $150,000 to Philippine churches as a "first and immediate expression of concrete feelings of spiritual closeness and fatherly encouragement." The money will be used by officials in the heavily Roman Catholic country to provide aid to storm victims.
- U.S. Marines arrive at the Tacloban airport, where runways had been cleared sufficiently to allow giant C-130 planes to begin landing with emergency supplies. They will deploy floodlights and radar so the airport can operate after sunset.
- Some commercial flights have resumed.
Storm weakens, reaches Vietnam
- At least five people died in Vietnam as Haiyan battered the country, state media reported Monday.
- Typhoon Haiyan weakened to a tropical storm Monday with sustained winds of 68 mph, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center reported. Although the storm is lacking its once powerful punch, the threat of heavy rain, flash floods and landslides remains as Haiyan moves into southern China.
The human toll
- The Philippine Red Cross estimates that at least 1,200 people were killed by the storm -- known locally as Yolanda -- but that number could change as officials make their way to remote areas made nearly inaccessible by Haiyan.
- Others put the toll much higher: The International Committee of the Red Cross said it's realistic to estimate that 10,000 people may have died nationally.
- The Philippine Armed Forces Central Command reported a death toll of 942 Monday night. However, the website for the country's emergency management agency continued to report 255 deaths as of Monday morning.
- An estimated 9.5 million people have been affected by the typhoon, including roughly 620,000 displaced from their homes, according to the United Nations.
- As the full impact of the storm is assessed, children are expected to be among the most affected, according to UNICEF, which put the number of children living in the typhoon's path at 1.7 million.
A trail of devastation
- The destruction across the islands was catastrophic and widespread. For a time, storm clouds covered the entire Philippines, stretching 1,120 miles -- the distance between Florida and Canada -- and tropical storm-force winds covered an area the size of Germany.
- Houses and buildings were leveled by the storm's powerful winds. Trees were snapped and neighborhoods inundated with floodwater. One CNN reporter, upon seeing the hard-hit city of Tacloban, said: "It is like a tsunami has hit here."
Aid desperately needed
- Hundreds of people streamed into the city's airport, hoping to take a flight away from the devastated area. "It is fast becoming a large-scale humanitarian airlift," CNN's Paula Hancocks reported. "People simply can't deal with being here."
- Magina Fernandez, a resident of Tacloban, pleaded Sunday for "international help to come here now. This is really, really like bad, bad, worse than hell. Worse than hell."
- The United Nations' World Food Programme is setting up logistical pipelines to transport food and other relief items. WFP spokeswoman Bettina Luescher said the U.N. group was gearing up its global resources to send enough food to feed 120,000 people.
- The U.S. Agency for International Development, known as USAID, announced Saturday it is making available immediately $100,000 to go toward health care, clean water and sanitation in areas hit hard by the devastating storm.
- "The United States is already providing significant humanitarian assistance, and we stand ready to further assist the government's relief and recovery efforts," U.S. President Barack Obama said Sunday as he expressed support for those affected by the storm.
- Sandra Bulling, international communications officer for the aid agency CARE, estimates that her organization will be participating in recovery efforts for the next year. "Fishermen have lost their boats. Crops are devastated. This is really the basic income of many people."
Haiyan by the numbers
- Super Typhoon Haiyan -- one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever observed -- first made landfall before dawn Friday on the Philippines' eastern island of Samar.
- At the time of landfall, sustained winds were clocked at 195 mph and gusts reached 235 mph -- well above the threshold for a Category 5 hurricane, the strongest level on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
- The storm continued churning across Asia early Monday, making landfall in Vietnam's Quang Ninh Province -- weakened but still powerful. The storm had winds of 75 mph with higher gusts. Five people were reported dead in Vietnam from the storm.
- So what's the difference between a typhoon and a hurricane? Location. Tropical cyclones with sustained surface winds of 74 mph or more are known as typhoons when they form west of the international date line. East of the line, they're known as hurricanes.
How to help
- If you're looking for someone missing in the Philippines, or if you have information about someone there, Google.org has launched the Typhoon Yolanda Person Finder.
- A Google crisis map has also been added to detail evacuation centers and areas designated for relief.
- Charities and nongovernmental organizations from around the world are responding to the disaster.
- For more information on how you can help, visit CNN.com/impact.
CNN's Andrew Stevens, Paula Hancocks, Ivan Watson, Jennifer Grubb, Greg Botelho, Catherine E. Shoichet , Sarah Aarthun and David Simpson contributed to this report.
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