Typhoon Haiyan Aid Efforts Complicated by Storm's Destruction

Typhoon will go down as one of the strongest to ever make landfall.

ByABC News
November 10, 2013, 8:36 AM

Nov. 10, 2013— -- Authorities working to account for the tens of thousands of people missing in wake of Typhoon Haiyan are also facing the challenge of getting desperately needed aid into a region devastated by one of the most powerful storms in history.

"Many lives were lost, a huge number of people are missing, and basic services such as drinking water and electricity have been cut off," Sebastien Sujobert, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) office in Tacloban, said in a statement.

More than 4 million people were in the path of the storm's powerful winds and sea surges, David-Pierre Marquet told ABC News. With more than 300,000 people now scattered across 1,200 evacuation centers, aid workers grew concerned that the utter destruction is complicating relief efforts.

Both the Philippine Red Cross and the ICRC's offices in Tacloban forced staff to relocate from the typhoon-ravaged city, the ICRC said.

While supplies including food, hygiene kits and water treatment units, were sent from Manila were to Tacloban before the storm made landfall, they have yet to arrive, according to an ICRC statement.

Emergency relief is anticipated to arrive in Tacloban on Monday, but "to make matters worse, the security situation is tense," ICRC spokesman David-Pierre Marquet said.

"People here need every type of aid," he said.

PHOTOS: Typhoon Haiyan Makes Landfall in the Philippines

Meanwhile, a senior regional police official and a city administrator in Tacloban in the central Philippines say the death toll there from the storm, which hit Friday, could reach 10,000 people, according to The Associated Press.

Regional police chief Elmer Soria told the AP that on Saturday he was briefed by Leyte provincial Gov. Dominic Petilla, who told him that there were about 10,000 deaths on the island. Most of the deaths were from drowning or caused by collapsed buildings, he said.

Tacloban city administrator Tecson Lim said that the death toll in the city alone "could go up to 10,000," the AP reports.

"We have so many dead people. We don't have bags," said mayor Remedios Petilla of Palo, a municipality in the Eastern Visayas region that was hard hit.

A half-dozen central Philippine islands are now reeling from Typhoon Haiyan after it made landfall early Friday morning. The storm, with sustained winds of nearly 200 miles per hour, flattened entire towns in the country's southern and central regions.

The number of families affected by the typhoon has reached 2 million, composed of 9.53 million people, according to a statement from the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Some 96,039 displaced families with 449,416 people are staying in 1,790 evacuation centers, while 36,627 other families with 182,379 people temporarily sought shelter in their friends and relatives' houses, according to the statement.

The typhoon made landfall at 4:40 a.m. local time near Guiuan, on the Philippine island of Samar, about 405 miles southeast of the country's capital, Manila. As bad as the destruction was, officials say it could have been even worse if the storm had stalled over land rather than moving through as quickly as it did.