On the badly devastated island of leyte thousands stormed a depot with rice bags. In the process, a wall collapsed, killing eight people, according to national food agency spokesman rex estoperez. The official death toll rose to 2,344 on wednesday, according to disaster management officials, and more than 3,800 people were injured.
Meanwhile, aid shipments to the crisis region are in full swing worldwide. Many roads on the hard-hit island of leyte – where a total of 1785 dead have been paid – remain barely passable. Helpers and experts also flew to southeast asia from germany, including teams from the technical relief organization (THW) with two drinking water treatment plants. On wednesday morning, THW and red cross workers took off from berlin with 75 tons of freight. On board were tents, cooking sets and hygiene articles.
German aid worker margret muller, who is in the devastated city of tacloban with a team of doctors on behalf of the aid organization humedica, described the situation to "spiegel online": "at night, after work, you can often still smell the stench of decay on your hands. Images haunt you, faces of people most of all. From the little girl who asked me yesterday if I had seen his sister. From the child who lost his parents and is now completely alone. Of the many people who sit in their dwellings with a blank stare."About the devastation, she said: "everything in tacloban has been destroyed, hats, even sturdy concrete houses, the damage is insane."
Many people were still presumed dead almost a week after the passage of the powerful typhoon "haiyan" – making it difficult to give precise figures on the victims. 79 people still missing, according to authorities. State president benigno aquino had earlier said he expected up to 2,500 people to die.
The desperation of those affected is crude. During the storming of the food depot in alangalan, thousands of people plundered 129,000 bags of rice weighing 50 kilograms each, according to estoperez. "We appeal to those who took rice bags to share them with others and not sell them," he said.
In the emergency area, numerous mobile units with doctors and nurses are now on the road to provide first aid – including teams from germany. But even at the hospital in tacloban, which was flooded by the typhoon, there is not enough drinking water, a BBC reporter said. Heavy rain had submerged many of the trummer fields, where people mostly live in the open air.
Aid organizations try day and night to reach hard-to-reach areas. If they succeed, the relief is great. "People were crying with happiness when we brought them food," american john fields, who organizes convoys on the island of cebu, told the german press agency.
Meanwhile, the transport authority is sending convoys of buses to leyte to bring relief supplies and to transport people out of the danger zones. The mayor of tacloban called on injured residents and children in particular to leave the city as far as possible – by plane, for example. "The fewer people in tacloban, the less we have to worry about," said alfred romualdez.
There have been no indications of german victims so far. A spokesman for the foreign office said that it was not yet possible to definitively rule out the possibility that german citizens also lost their lives in the devastating hurricane. The situation is unclear. The german embassy in manila has reportedly strengthened its crisis response team and sent two staff members to tacloban. Germany has so far provided 1.5 million euros in emergency aid.
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