Scott: One of the strongest storms on record hit the Philippines Friday, leaving behind a trail of destruction. The typhoon was three-and-half times more forceful than Hurricane Katrina, the storm that hit the Gulf Coast in 2005. And as Keith Kocinski shows us, the storm’s destruction is just unbelievable.
Keith: This is all that is left of entire neighborhoods, piles of wood and debris. Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on Friday with winds, at times, near 200 miles per hour. The local Red Cross says more than 1,000 people are dead, but officials fear the death toll could reach 10,000.
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas: The devastation is… I don’t have the words for it. It’s really horrific. It’s a great human tragedy.
Keith: Fierce winds ripped through homes and snapped this tree like a twig. The storm pushed the ocean waters up the shores with waves that were 40 feet high in some places. And the waters quickly flooded streets.
The Philippines is made up of a group of islands in the western Pacific, and the storm mostly hit the country’s southeastern islands. This town on Cebu island was reduced to scrap wood. This woman says she is searching for her mother, father, and her child who was ripped from her arms when the floodwaters rushed in.
This image from space shows just how massive the typhoon is – one of the most powerful storms ever recorded.
So, just what is a typhoon? Typhoons are the same as hurricanes, but called different names around the world. In Asia, it is called a typhoon and in the Middle East, it is a cyclone.
If the storm hovered over the area for an extended period of time, the damage could have been worse. But since it came and left quickly, it limited mudslides and severe flooding, which are the usual causes of death during storms like this.
Cleanup and rescue efforts are difficult because there is no power or phones in most places. People are sorting through what is left of their homes during the day, then huddling together at night in the only buildings that are still standing.
The storm lost strength but it isn’t dead yet. After the Philippines, it headed towards Vietnam and was expected to head towards China, losing strength along the way. Half-a-million Vietnamese people in high risk areas were moved to higher ground over the weekend, hoping to avoid the direct hit that was seen in the Philippines.
Keith Kocinski, Channel One News.
Scott: The U.S. has sent food, water and other aid. And our own Shelby Holliday is headed there, so be looking for her reports from the field later this week.