Typhoon Haiyan: Desperation triggers anarchy in storm-devastated areas

Desperation triggered anarchy in communities flattened by Typhoon Haiyan as survivors of one of the most violent storms to ever hit land struggled to find food, clean water and medicine Wednesday.

Police were working to keep order across the region devastated by 195 mph winds and huge storm surges amid reports of armed gangs roaming the streets.
ANC Television said security forces exchanged fire with armed men amid widespread looting of shops and warehouses for food, water and other supplies in the village of Abucay in Leyte province.

Eight people were crushed to death as thousands of people stormed a rice warehouse in Alangalang and carted away up to 100,000 sacks of rice, National Food Authority spokesman Rex Estoperez told The Associated Press.

“We are not looters, what we were looking for is food,” one desperate man told NBC News on Tuesday as he searched the remains of a food warehouse in the fishing village of Magallan on the hard-hit island of Leyte.
An 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew was in place.
“We have restored order,” Carmelo Espina Valmoria, director of the Philippine National Police special action force, told The Associated Press. “There has been looting for the last three days, (but) the situation has stabilized.”
Aid officials blamed the shortage of aid on not enough trucks and the roads were blocked.

“There’s a bit of a logjam to be absolutely honest getting stuff in here,” said Sebastian Rhodes Stampa, from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Some survivors resorted to digging up water pipes.
“We sourced our water from an underground pipe that we have smashed. We don’t know if it’s safe. We need to boil it. But at least we have something,” Christopher Dorano, 38, told Reuters.
Many areas, however, appear all but obliterated.
The road from Cebu city, the provincial capital, is lined with hundreds of children holding out their hands in despair or carrying crude signs reading: “We need food and water.”
Meanwhile, the government downplayed initial reports that 10,000 had died in the storm. President Benigno Aquino said local officials overstated the loss of life, saying it was closer to 2,000 or 2,500 than the 10,000 previously estimated.
Official confirmed deaths stood at 2,275 on Wednesday, but almost 7 million had been affected by the storm, according to the government.
The preliminary number of missing, according to the Red Cross, is 22,000. Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross, told Reuters that figure could include people who have since been located.

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