Extra police are deployed to prevent looting as shops in areas hit by the devastating power of Haiyan are stripped bare.
10 November 2013
Survivors of the super typhoon that has devastated several islands in the Philippines have begun scavenging for food and looting shops in order to stay alive, witnesses say.
Shopping centres and grocery stores in hard-hit Tacloban have reportedly been stripped of goods as rescuers’ efforts to deliver food and water are 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, 36, 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 afraid that in one week, people will be killing from hunger.”
Witnesses described how survivors are forming long queues at aid stations, waiting desperately for handouts of rice and water.
Some sit and stare, covering their faces with rags to keep out the smell of the dead.
One woman, eight months pregnant, described through tears how her 11 family members vanished in the storm, including two daughters.
“I can’t think right now. I am overwhelmed,” she said.
During a visit to Tacloban, President Benigno Aquino acknowledged that looting had emerged as a major concern after only 20 out of 390 of the city’s police officers turned up for work following the typhoon.
“So we will send about 300 police and soldiers to take their place and bring back peace and order,” he said.
Continue reading at Typhoon Survivors Hunt For Food ‘Like Zombies’.