Typhoon Haiyan struck the central Philippines late last week, leaving behind immense destruction, many dead, and thousands displaced as they wait for help.

From the Wall Street Journal:

As food and water became scarce in areas hit by supertyphoon Haiyan, the Philippines government dramatically raised the death toll to 1,744, greatly exceeding earlier counts from one of the most powerful storms ever to strike the country.

Even that was seen as a low number, with the toll expected to rise significantly. Thousands remained missing and reports from stricken areas outline mass graves holding hundreds, with bodies also strewn in the streets.

In the city of Tacloban, four days after Haiyan devastated it, the road to the airport was jammed with people trying to get out. The road into town was also snarled with motorbikes and cars trying to fight their way in, even as humanitarian workers warned food and water was rapidly running out.

The scenes of devastation are unbelievable, and while relief is arriving in some areas, it’s complicated by choked roads and other logistical troubles.

As is often the case in the immediate aftermath of such disasters, reports of death tolls vary greatly, as many are still missing and workers are trying to retrieve bodies.  But officials fear that the death toll could rise significantly, while many outlets are reporting that more than 600,000 have been displaced.

From the Chicago Tribune:

As President Benigno Aquino deployed hundreds of soldiers in the coastal city of Tacloban to quell looting, the huge scale of death and destruction become clearer as reports emerged of thousands of people missing and images showed apocalyptic scenes in one town that has not been reached by rescue workers.

One of the most powerful storms ever recorded, typhoon Haiyan leveled Basey, a seaside town in Samar province about 6 miles across a bay from Tacloban in Leyte province, where at least 10,000 people were killed, according to officials.

About 2,000 people were missing in Basey alone, said the governor of Samar province.

“The situation is bad, the devastation has been significant. In some cases the devastation has been total,” Secretary to the Cabinet Rene Almendras told a news conference.

The United Nations said officials in Tacloban, which bore the brunt of the storm on Friday, had reported one mass grave of 300-500 bodies. More than 600,000 people were displaced by the storm across the country and some have no access to food, water, or medicine, the U.N. says.

Individual accounts are every bit as devastating.  CNN reports that 30 members of one family are missing after the storm.

At the request of the Philippines government, the US has sent troops to assist in humanitarian efforts, according to FOX News.

CNN VIDEO: Relief efforts are underway.

How you can help

ABC News has already collected a number of links to relief organizations that are providing assistance, if you are interested in how you can help – those include Philippine Red Cross, UNICEF, Save the Children, CARE, World Food Programme, Oxfam America, Medecins Sans Frontieres/ Doctors Without Borders and International Medical Corps.  Samaritan’s Purse has also deployed a response team to assist in relief efforts.

Mashable has also compiled a list that includes Catholic Relief Services, Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army, among others.

(Featured image photo credit: CNN Video)


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.