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CONNECT THE WORLD

Typhoon Haiyan Slams Philippines; Surprise U.S. Jobs Report; Syria's Polio Threat; Iranian Nuclear Talks Near Deal

Aired November 8, 2013 - 15:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're with CNN.

This is CONNECT THE WORLD.

I'm Becky Anderson.

We are beginning you special coverage of the super typhoon that has, just in the past hour or so, made a direct hit on the Philippines. Authorities there warning people in provinces across the country to prepare for flash floods, for land slides and a huge storm surge.

Well, Super Typhoon Haiyan is the biggest storm of the year so far and may well be the strongest tropical cyclone to hit land anywhere in recorded history. Three quarters of a million people on the move to avoid the worst of this. That as state media is citing unconfirmed TV reports that 20 people are dead, although that number is expected to rise as we learn more.

Let's start you off this hour with this report from Hala Gorani.

HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Super Typhoon Haiyan smashed into the Philippines before dawn Friday, with maximum sustained winds of about 315 kilometers an hour. This was the scene in Tacloban City, home to more than 200,000 people. A crew from the CNN affiliate broadcast dramatic footage as the storm hit. Punishing winds and rain eventually forced them inside. Less than an hour later, the same crew watched as the street below them turned into a river.

Near the city of Bohol, two cargo barges were left stranded at sea, with rescue crews struggling against the fierce waves, crew members abandoned ship, jumping into the sea and trying to swim ashore. At least one of those men is now missing.

Even in the suburbs of Manila, some 600 kilometers away from the eye of the storm, heavy rain and winds battered the capital. Along the Central Philippines Coast, in places like Cebu Island, the storm flooded villages and blew the roofs right off homes.

CNN iReporter, Chris Ducker, described what it was like when the typhoon hit his neighborhood.

CHRIS DUCKER, CNN IREPORTER: The winds were howling so loud. The rain didn't let up for a long, long time. I'll tell you, it was raining for at least solidly five or six hours.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, let's get you for -- on the ground for the very latest.

Paula Hancocks is in the Philippines' capital.

She joins us now from Manila, where the weather, it's got to be said, isn't as bad as the pictures that we've seen in that past package. I know that the storm missed Manila.

But I know that the organization for evacuations and rescues will start in Manila.

What's the story from there at this point?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, we're just an hour away from daybreak and although it may be days before we realize the true scale of this disaster, we do know that the military is on standby at this point.

So at 5:00 a.m. local time, in one hour's time, they'll be able to get in the air, they'll be taking the helicopters up to really get an aerial view of the damage. It's really the only way they'll be able to see the vast expanse of the area where this super typhoon hit and be able to tell which areas need help the most, which are the hardest hit and what they need.

The reason that they'll really be seeing this for the first time and getting information for the first time is because communications overnight have been down, for the most part, in some of these areas. The -- the severe winds really knocked out all communications. They knocked out electricity and also many trees have been felled, which have blocked roads. And, of course, there were concerns about mud slides and land slides because of the heavy rain.

So, really, there's a catalog of obstacles for the military and for the aid workers, until they can get to those areas and those people that need help -- Becky.

ANDERSON: What are the -- what's the worst case scenario at this point?

HANCOCKS: Well, I think the worst case scenario will be not being able to get to the areas where they are needed. There are some remote areas that have been completely cut off. In fact, there are some larger cities that are -- that have no communications, as well.

So it's a -- I think the worst case scenario will be not being able to -- to get there. And, of course, there are some smaller areas where the infrastructure is just not very significant at all. It's not a rich country. And certainly, some of these areas, they have very, very poor neighborhoods. We've seen footage of roofs being pulled off houses and some areas along the coast, as well, we've seen footage of the storm surge actually taking away very flimsy houses.

So I think the concern is that people didn't heed the warnings. That would be the worst case scenario and that they didn't evacuate those low- lying areas -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, well, we do know that there are some half a million people on the move in the country.

Paula, for the time being, thank you very much, indeed for this.

This super typhoon will be the third major disaster to hit the Philippines in the past year. Last month, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit the region, killing more than 200 people. Nearly 1,000 were hurt and around 350,000 displaced, according to authorities.

And in December, you may remember Typhoon Bopha devastated the island of Mindanao. The storm -- the most powerful to hit the country last year, estimated to have killed as much as 1,900 people.

Well, given the gravity of things as we speak, it will come as no surprise that the Philippine Red Cross is now on full alert.

Peter Garratt joining me in the studio tonight, is the disaster response manager for the British Red Cross, with me this everything.

You were in the Philippines during the typhoon of 2010. You'll be hearing from your colleagues about what's happening now.

What have they reported?

PETER GARRATT, DISASTER RESPONSE MANAGER, BRITISH RED CROSS: Yes, that's right. We have our representatives in the region.

Because this comes so soon after the earthquake, and we've had a lot of teams there providing assistance for the local Philippines Red Cross on the ground and they're telling us that it's difficult to move, but they're saying that they have got reports a bit like your reporter said, trees down, roots being ripped off.

So difficult, because it's not able to -- as it's been through the night there now -- difficult to ascertain exactly what's happened. But I know from personal experience, having worked in typhoon situations in the Philippines in the past, there will be a lot of very poor people who live in the outlying regions, some of those more remote islands, some of those more basic villages. And they will have been very, very seriously affected, indeed.

ANDERSON: What was your experience in the past of the way that the emergency services reacted to the situation on the ground?

GARRATT: Let's be fair. I think you give credit where it's due pretty good. This is a country that does get affected by typhoons on a regular basis. We've had something like 20 -- more than 20 tropical storms hitting the Philippines in this current typhoon season alone. That's within the last six months.

So, you know, this is something that happens -- it happens a lot. But this is unique, because this is massive. And it comes so soon after the earthquake.

You mentioned 350,000 people losing their home. We know that 270,000 of those are still living in makeshift shelter. Goodness knows what they've been going through this night.

ANDERSON: Stay with me.

I want to get the very latest on the forecast with Jenny Harrison, who is with us from the World Weather Center.

My guest here in the studio talking about this as a massive storm -- just put this into context for us, Jen, if you will.

Just how big is this and where is it headed now?

JENNY HARRISON, ATS METEOROLOGIST: Well, you know what, Becky, it's kind of changing its shape a little bit, if you like, because it has weakened somewhat to what it was when it came onshore.

But I want to show you this image first of all. This is a nighttime image. Just -- you can certainly see here the size of it. I mean you can't really see the Philippines. There's Manila. It is the nighttime shot, of course. There's the light.

But just look at the size of this storm. And you can see the lights of mainland China, Hong Kong, just an incredible view, actually, and one we don't see very often, of course.

And then here's another way of looking at it. From one side to the other, the diameter, 1,800 kilometers from one side to the other. That's how much the cloud was covering and probably is still now, even though it's changed its formation somewhat.

So if you were to put this typhoon somewhere else, it would stretch from Scandinavia right the way down to Spain or if you're in the United States, it would actually stretch from Canada right the way down to Florida.

So that gives you an idea just the actual vast size that this storm is actually covering.

Here it is now. And the reason I say it's changed somewhat is it actually has lost some of its power. It is still a super typhoon, which is just remarkable when you consider how long it has been a super typhoon and the fact that it has, of course, interacted with land.

Now, you can see we've got some sort of areas in between, if you like, the outer feeder bands are still very active, as well. We've still got the same wind, the 250 kilometers an hour. Gusts just to over 300. And it's moving to the west now at 37 kilometers an hour.

So pushing out into those warm waters of the South China Sea.

And as it continues to push out toward the west, of course, it will take the worst of the rain with it. But there is still more rain to come. And you can see here the rain that has come down. So far, at least a month's worth of rain, more than that in some locations.

And you can see by the colors and the index at the top here, at least 400 millimeters have fallen in some locations.

Now you can see some recordings have come through.

In Surigao, we've seen 253 millimeters. The wind gusts anything from 80 to 155. But again, as we know, some of the equipment, Becky, that's used for this has actually, of course, just can't withstand the winds that have come through.

Now, the winds you can see currently are not really reporting. But as we go through Saturday and Sunday, the storm moves away. The winds will ease. Still, some very breezy conditions, but the worst of the storm now on its way in the South China Sea, taking the rain with it.

We will still see some accumulations, even though the really heavy rain has gone. There is more to come down adding to what is already there.

This is why the threat of land slides and mud slides is very real in the hours and days to come.

But this is what we now need to focus on. We need to focus on Vietnam, the central areas toward Da Nang, also, southern areas of China. The storm is heading in that general direction. Still forecast to stay as a typhoon, Becky. It's losing it's super typhoon status, but all this happening as we head into Sunday and Monday morning local time.

So we're going to watch this very closely, of course, in the hours and days ahead.

Still, it is not done yet, this storm, by any means.

ANDERSON: No, you're absolutely right.

Jen, thank you for that.

Peter Garratt from the British Red Cross is with me.

And as Jenny was talking you were discussing with me how you are already gearing up to respond to the storm as it hits -- or the typhoon as it hits the Vietnam coast.

What are your choices of, you know, operations there?

GARRATT: We've done quite a lot. I mean the local Red Cross, the branches, they're there. It's not like bringing it in. They've already got stock.

But my concern is that a lot of that stock within the Philippines has been exhausted by the recent disasters that we've been talking about.

So what we are now doing is bringing in international stocks. We've got air freight operations bringing in plane loads of the basic essentials. And that's why the British Red Cross has launched this public appeal, to raise funds so that we can pay for that.

It's things like basic shelter materials, tarpaulins. It's mattresses, it's blankets, it's hygiene kits.

I mean you mentioned the Vietnam there, as well. I mean only two weeks ago, another typhoon hit Vietnam and there was a real deluge of rain water on that country, real flooding.

And so now with more rain and winds coming, that's just going to make that situation much, much worse.

So these countries are already stretched. And that's why international support is needed. That's why, internationally, the Red Cross is -- is looking for support, so that we can allow the local Red Cross to do their job.

ANDERSON: And (INAUDIBLE) if the Red Cross is stretched, then the other organizations working on the ground will be stretched, as well. You make a very good point.

Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us tonight.

It is clear that the scope of help that is needed is going to be massive. Millions of people across the Philippines will need urgent assistance, recovered in a myriad of ways.

You can play a role in that.

Go to CNN.com/impact. Find out how you can lend a hand. That is the Web site, easy to access and easy to get involved.

Still to come tonight, more live coverage from the Philippines, as the country wakes up from one of the strongest storms ever observed.

The latest on the rescue efforts and what survivors are going through. That's going to be throughout this hour.

And positive jobs figures out of the United States today. We're live at the New York Stock Exchange with the details on those just ahead.

Plus, we'll have the latest on this flurry of diplomatic activity in Geneva and Iran and the international community may be, we are told, at least, nearing a nuclear deal.

All that and much more.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: This is CNN.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

I'm Becky Anderson.

We're keeping an eye on the super typhoon in the Philippines. These are pictures of its aftermath.

We'll keep you bang up to date on what is going on there and in the region over the past -- over the next hour.

Also, first, though, here's a look some of the stories that we are covering for you.

And there is word of a possible breakthrough over Iran's nuclear program as diplomats gather in the Swiss city of Geneva. Now Russia, one of Iran's closest allies, hopes this round of negotiations will produce, and I quote them, "a long-lasting solution."

But U.S. secretary of State, John Kerry, says no agreement has been reached as of yet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The P5 is doing some very important work right now. And I'm delighted to be here at the invitation of Kathy Ashton to try to work with our colleagues to see if we can narrow some differences.

I want to emphasize, there are still some very important issues on the table that are unresolved. It is important for those to be properly, thoroughly addressed. I want to emphasize, there is not an agreement at this point in time, but the P5 is working hard.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: John Kerry on the talks with the Iranians.

And as we speak and as I bring you these other news headlines, do keep an eye on the right hand side of your screen there. That is the eye of that storm in Asia moving away from the Philippines at this point, barreling toward Vietnam.

We will keep you bang up to date on where it is, what it's doing and the impact it's had as we move through the hours.

Some positive news in the U.S. now. And job growth in the United States surged in October, even with the federal government partially closed for 16 days. The jobs report released today shows that the U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs in October, well above economists' expectations.

Alison Kosik joining us now from the New York Stock Exchange with more.

These numbers were not just more than economists had expected, they were almost double, I believe. And yet, I understand that the unemployment rate went higher. I'm never quite sure how that works, so explain that to me.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's first talk about that gain of 204,000, Becky. It came in much stronger than the 120,000 jobs that economists had expected.

Now, the worry was that the government shutdown would push that number way down. So clearly, that's not what we saw.

October was actually the third best month for job gains this entire year. And the 204,000 number isn't so far off from the -- from the monthly average since the beginning of this year.

You look at the average number of jobs created, it was 186,000.

So this number isn't necessarily outrageous when you look at it that way. September and August, those numbers were revised higher, as well. But economists are still saying that they want to wait until November to get a clearer picture of how the past few months truly were.

You're asking why the -- the sort of discrepancy between the 7.3 percent unemployment rate and then the rise in the number of jobs created. Many are saying that that 7 point -- that -- that tick up from 7.2 to 7.3 percent in the unemployment rate had a lot to do with the government shutdown. And so that may be rely on that tick up in the unemployment rate.

So they're saying to rely more on that number, the 204,000 number.

As for stocks, though, we are seeing a rally today. The Dow is up 97 points. The thinking is that this report, combined with other upbeat data lately, shows that the economy may be ready to stand on its own, without the Fed stimulus -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Alison Kosik at the New York Stock Exchange for you.

Well, France had its sovereign credit rating cut by Standard & Poor's on Friday -- and that is only part of the story -- from AA+ to AA. Now, the ratings agency says the current approach of the French government is unlikely to stimulate growth, as French unemployment stalls at 11 percent.

President Hollande's popularity is dwindling. A recent poll released Friday showed Mr. Hollande's approval rating at 25 percent, the lowest ever recorded for a French president.

Well, a Somalian official says four people have been killed and at least 15 were injured when a car bomb exploded outside a Mogadishu hotel on Friday. The Somalian prime minister called the bombing a terrorist attack. It's unclear who was behind the blast, but witnesses say police have arrested one person.

Well, a polio outbreak in Syria is -- has neighboring regions extremely concerned. Europe and the Middle East are working to prevent the infectious disease from being introduced to their populations. Syria's outbreak yet another sign of a deterioration there.

Well, the conflict has been raging, as I'm sure you're well as well, for two years and eight months. The U.N. estimates that 100,000 Syrians have died and now half a million kids are at risk of contracting polio.

Atika Shubert has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The polio outbreak in Syria could pose a new threat to Europe, according to two German infectious disease experts. In a letter written to the medical journal, "The Lancet," Doctors Martin Eichner and Stefan Brockmann warn that the virus may well spread to Europe as thousands of Syrians flee the civil war.

MARTIN EICHNER, UNIVERSITY OF TUBINGEN: There may be a risk of importing the infection into European cities. And we have -- we have been vaccinating here with the inactivated polio vaccine for the last 10 or 15 years, depending on the country. And this vaccine is perfect in preventing disease, but it's not completely perfect in preventing the infection of individuals.

SHUBERT: The risk is especially high in regions of Europe with low vaccination coverage, such as Bosnia, Ukraine and Austria.

STEFAN BROCKMANN, PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICE, REUTLINGEN: There are some countries in Europe with a lower protection. It means Austria has, according to the whoo site, approximately 80, 85 percent of IPV vaccination rates. And in the eastern parts of Europe, especially the Ukraine and others, less than 60 percent.

SHUBERT: For many, polio is a disease of the past -- a highly infectious virus that attacks the nervous system. In many countries, polio has been virtually eradicated by mandatory vaccination programs and Syria was one of them. The last time polio was detected in Syria was more than a decade ago, in 1999.

But now, the WHO has confirmed at least 10 cases of polio inside Syria.

Experts say because only one in 200 people infected develops paralysis, the virus can spread silently for months before an outbreak is detected.

BROCKMANN: We have to make sure that the refugees coming to Europe are vaccinated polio and for other diseases, like measles and so on.

SHUBERT: UNICEF and the WHO have announced the largest ever united immunization response in the Middle East, aiming to vaccinate about 20 million children in seven countries and territories. But with so many people fleeing the violence in Syria and with so much of the country inaccessible because of the fighting, there is concern that the nightmare disease could endanger several regions of the world.

Atika Shubert, CNN, London.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, this is CONNECT THE WORLD.

You're watching CNN live from London.

I'm Becky Anderson.

And coming up, could this be the worst storm in recorded history?

And where is it headed next?

The latest on Super Typhoon Haiyan is just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

This is our show out of London for you.

I'm Becky Anderson.

And let's get to the region where the action is tonight and speak to Mardy Halcon, who is a communications officer from the aid agency, Plan Philippines. Of course, the Philippines has been hit over the past hours by a tremendous storm, one of the biggest in recorded history.

Mardy joining us from the capital of Manila.

What can you tell us about conditions on the ground where you are this evening?

MARDY HALCON, COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER, PLAN PHILIPPINES: (INAUDIBLE) wasn't so hard. But we experienced how (INAUDIBLE) in the evening, some parts of metro Manila lost power.

ANDERSON: So it is, what, about 5:00 in the morning, half past 4:00 in the morning with you now.

Who do you believe the worst of the damage may be?

HALCON: Bisbah Harbor (ph) is worse that we have seen from our staff. It's likely in the summer (INAUDIBLE) area (INAUDIBLE) on the ground before we lost contact with them (INAUDIBLE) and huge trees. And you see the poles coming down, (INAUDIBLE) trees, land lines, damaged houses and (INAUDIBLE) of the buildings.

ANDERSON: You talk about losing communications with your employees. I've heard that a lot over the past 12 hours, people trying to communicate with employees and colleagues in areas where the weather has been at its worst.

Have you got any indication about the extent of the damage, of the flooding, of the mud slides, at this point?

HALCON: Right now, we don't have any requests from our staff, but we were monitoring the (INAUDIBLE) last night and we saw storm surges in Malaba (ph). And there were unconfirmed deaths of about 11 people in Laba (ph). We...

ANDERSON: So what's the plan...

HALCON: -- although...

ANDERSON: Yes, let -- talk to me about what you as an organization are planning to do next.

HALCON: During times like this, (INAUDIBLE) know from experience that roads are not passable, so we sent about 5,000 sets of water kits to the communities last Wednesday. This -- that ensured that the delivery of this (INAUDIBLE) will be to the beneficiaries in the (INAUDIBLE).

We also purchased 5,000 sets of IGM (ph) kits and infant kits for distribution. Two of our staff will be flying to Tacloban tomorrow via Cebu, because Tacloban airport is still closed. And they will be doing an initial assessment to see how (INAUDIBLE) respond to people on the ground.

During times like this, we worry about child protection issues, so we're really concerned about how children are getting back to (INAUDIBLE).

ANDERSON: Yes, that is a -- I've heard that before and it's understandable.

And we thank you very much, indeed for joining us.

Just one of the agencies working on the ground there, as you look at pictures that have been coming into us throughout the day. Of course, it is about 4:35, moving on toward 5:00 in the morning. These are pictures over the past 12 hours or so as the storm really smashed into the Philippines, now moving toward Vietnam.

What can you say?

I mean the pictures really tell the story for you.

Are you in the affected area or have you had to leave?

Do you have loved ones affected by the storm?

Send us your photos, your video stories. Do, though, stay safe. These are unpredictable conditions, of course.

Simply go to CNNIReport.com and get involved in our assignment. Those on Instagram can join me by using the hash tag cnireports.

Well, the latest world news headlines I've just said.

Perhaps we'll have more and see where the typhoon is headed next.

And your headlines following this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back.

This is CONNECT THE WORLD, CNN.

The top stories for you this hour.

It is almost daybreak in the Philippines, which has been hit by one of the biggest storms ever observed, Super Typhoon Haiyan. Authorities warning people in provinces across the country they should prepare for possible flash floods, for landslides and the high storm surge.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with his Iranian counterpart in Geneva. Russia's state-run Ria Novosti reports that the foreign minister from Russia, Sergey Lavrov, will also be joining him. It's the latest push to find a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear stand-off.

Well, officials said four people have been killed and at least 15 were injured when a car bomb exploded outside a Mogadishu hotel on Friday. It's unclear who was behind the blast, but witnesses say police have arrested one person.

Jobs growth in the United States surged in October. A jobs report released today shows the U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs, well above economists' expectations in October.

Well, our breaking coverage continues on the track of this super typhoon in Asia.

You're watching CNN.

Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD.

Let's get more on this top story then.

This is Super Typhoon Haiyan. It's been battering the Philippines as it's known. Haiyan is the biggest storm of the year so far. It may well be the strongest tropical cyclone to hit land anywhere in recorded history.

Winds -- you can see the pictures here -- hit 315 kilometers an hour. That is faster than a bullet train. State media are citing unconfirmed TV reports that 20 people are dead, although that number, sadly, is expected to rise as we learn more.

Well, a Red Cross official has told CNN that about 90 percent of the country's infrastructure and establishments were heavily damaged.

(VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Paula Hancocks is in the Philippines capital.

She joins us now from Manila, a city, Paula, that has avoided the worst of the storm, still, though, affected as the light comes up.

At this point, what are -- what are the preparations?

What are the emergency services talking about at this stage as their - - their highest priorities?

HANCOCKS: Well, Becky, the military is on standby and they will be getting in the air just as soon as they can, just as soon as the -- the sun comes up, which is probably less than half an hour now.

And what they're saying is that they want to get an aerial view of exactly what has happened.

They know that there has been damage that we can see from the footage of the initial towns that were hit by this super typhoon, that there have been flooding, there has been a lot of debris, parts of the town on the east coast have looked like there's a river going through the streets and a lot of debris has been floating there, as well.

And, of course, their concern will be have there -- have there been casualties in that area, as well. So the -- the military will want to make sure that they can get the immediate necessities to those that need it -- food, water, medication, any basic necessities that are needed.

But of course, it will take them some time, because the communications have been down, so they haven't be able to coordinate this effort overnight, whilst it is the dark -- whilst there has been no light and whilst they haven't been able to fly.

ANDERSON: Right.

HANCOCKS: They've had to wait until the light comes up to really be able to get on the ground and see what's happened.

ANDERSON: Paula, we've been talking this hour about the -- the problems that the Philippines has had of late and how its emergency services and certainly its aid agencies have been stretched during emergencies.

How difficult do you think things are on the ground, those agencies who would normally be the first responders in a situation like this?

HANCOCKS: Well, I think on the ground, at this point, from a local point of view, they still will be the first responders and they may be the only help that many people get for some hours, or even days, because there's such a vast area that this super typhoon has hit. Millions of people have been affected. Millions of people were in the path.

So inevitably, it is going to take a long time for the central government, the central military effort and the central charity and aid effort to filter out to those remote areas.

Now, we know that the military had visited the remote areas ahead of time and they've given out some bare -- basic necessities to try and help out, because they knew that they probably wouldn't be able to get to those areas immediately after the super typhoon. And that's certainly the case.

So it's a practiced event here, the fact that there are more than 20 typhoons every single year that hit the Philippines. So these aid agencies know what they're doing.

But we've heard from the Red Cross. We've heard from other people that they've never seen anything like this, not on this scale.

ANDERSON: When -- when we look at the pictures, as you are talking, one has to consider the sort of worst case scenario. I guess the -- the best story now is that this storm has moved away from the Philippines, sadly, on the way to Vietnam. And we'll talk to Jenny Harrison about the forecast for this storm going forward.

But we are very much now talking about the sort of -- the sort of rescue stage and the rehabilitation stage, so far as the government infrastructure is concerned, aren't we, rather than -- rather than the emergency stage?

HANCOCKS: Listen, this is definitely search and rescue time now. But of course, they assumed that it's the -- the emergency stage is over. But of course, they don't really know what they're dealing with. We don't know what the light will bring and how much devastation it will reveal.

And, of course, it may not just be in the coming hours that we discover this, it could well be in the coming days that we get a better idea and the -- the central authorities and officials get a better idea of just how devastating this has been.

But certainly...

ANDERSON: All right...

HANCOCKS: -- the search and rescue operation is going to start just as soon as it can and once they can get in the air.

ANDERSON: All right. As dawn breaks in Manila, Paula Hancocks is on the ground.

She'll be reporting from there as the day goes on.

We've got a number of other people there to get to at this point.

Let's see how this storm has been developing and how it's become so strong and what we can expect as it moves west toward Vietnam.

Jenny Harrison is at the World Weather Center with more -- Jen.

HARRISON: Well, Becky, you say how did it become so strong?

It's a very good question, because normally, of course, they don't have storms ever this strong. This is just unprecedented.

So the reason this storm became so strong, it was more -- moving through extremely warm waters. This time of year, of course, they've had all of these summer very warm weather. So there's no real season, if you like, for typhoons. But we do tend to see them tapering off in the months of November on, again, to sort of the winter months.

But it is moving through really, really warm waters. There was no wind shear. There was no land. There were no -- there was nothing to interfere, uh, or interrupt the progress of this storm.

But, also, of course, it has been moving so very, very quickly that all of that has meant that there's been nothing to disturb it.

And when it's moving quickly, when a storm moves quickly, it continues to move through the warm waters.

When this storm actually slows down, it churns up the water. So the cooler water below eventually comes to the surface. And that we begin to take away some of the energy from the storm. That hasn't happened.

And, in fact, what we can see straightaway here, in fact, this is Super Typhoon Haiyan, if I'm correct, at 230 kilometers an hour, this is now a typhoon. It looks as if it should now have lost its super typhoon status.

This is the latest update that's come through from the Dorian Typhoon Warning Center (ph).

It's also moving a little bit quicker. It changed direction, as well, no longer moving to the west, but the west-northwest, at 43 kilometers an hour.

So continuing to pull away from the Philippines, actually picked up a little bit of speed. And the winds continuing to ease.

But look at this, still there's more rain in the forecast, even as the storm moves away. So that also means we're going to see more in the way of accumulations, and, in fact, maybe in some areas such as Bamud (ph), maybe another 100 millimeters or more.

In Tacloban, which, as we know, was inundated with rain, another 58 millimeters add to the totals there. The water, of course, was just in at the streams.

But look at this. Right now, we've got the winds of 230 kilometers an hour. As I say, it's not a super typhoon anymore. Anything with winds less than 240 is a typhoon.

But it's moving toward the coast of Vietnam. So it's a typhoon right now. It looks like if it maintains its strength, it will come onshore as a typhoon. And then, as you can see, the forecast has it actually working toward the north.

So another slightly different way of looking at it, of course. We have this cone of possibility. So as we go through local time Sunday into Monday, this is the worst time across the region, and, of course, still a very, very powerful storm, so severe winds, storm surge always a concern with any of these regions, when a storm comes up toward the coastline, particularly one with winds over 200 kilometers an hour.

Very heavy rain. That could well lead to flooding across the region and, of course, land slides, as well, always a huge concern with this storm.

But again, just going back to what we've been talking about, Becky, for the last several hours, more than 24 hours now, with this storm, the strength of that, that Super Typhoon Haiyan, when it made landfall, it was off the Saffir-Simpson Scale, as we know it. The National Hurricane Center -- this is what they put together for a category five hurricane that would appear in the Atlantic.

And as we know, what they say is this, that most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months. They describe the damage that takes place with a category five -- remember, this storm, this super typhoon, when it made landfall, would have been a category six or even higher than that, if you extrapolate the figures, they describe the damage as catastrophic.

So as Paula has been saying, Becky, it's not until we go to get the light -- the daylight back again in the couple of hours as...

ANDERSON: Sure.

HARRISON: -- they begin to really see what's going on, we can really assess the damage that has actually truly been caused by this super typhoon.

But now, as I say, it is a typhoon working its way in the South China Sea on its way toward Vietnam.

ANDERSON: And make sure that you keep an eye on the Web site for every detail and development on what is going on there.

And we'll be monitoring where the storm is headed, looking at the damage that's on the ground, check the gallery of what will be, in all, the most powerful and striking images to come from the region, all on CNN.com/international. this is CONNECT THE WORLD.

Coming up, critical talks to end a decade-long stand-off -- we'll have all the latest on Iran's nuclear talks in Geneva. That after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, one of the strongest typhoons ever to hit land has slammed the Philippines, forcing millions to take shelter.

The storm now moving away from the island toward Vietnam. We will keep you bang you up to date here on CNN on exactly what is going on there in the region.

Meantime, some of the world's top Western diplomats are in Geneva, trying to find what is the diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear program. And for the first time in a decade, they may be getting close.

Now, there is word that the foreign ministers from Russia and China could also join the talks.

Let's get the latest from our team of correspondents covering the story from all sides in a moment.

First, though, this report on how we have reached what is a critical stage.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON (voice-over): Concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions has been at the center of international debate for the last 10 years, intensifying under the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the United States resorted to sanctions to try to crush Iran's capacity to build weapons of mass destruction.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are showing the Iranian government that its actions have consequences. And if it persists, the pressure will continue to mount and its isolation will continue to deepen. There should be no doubt the United States and the international community are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

ANDERSON: Now there are signs of a thawing in the relationship. New Iranian president, Hossein Rouhani, has called for constructive dialogue to end what he describes as unhealthy rivalries.

Since he was elected, the nuclear talks between Iran and the U.S. have accelerated, so much so that Iran could now be on the verge of an international agreement on its nuclear program.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I believe the ingredients are there. It takes a -- quite a bit of effort and quite a bit of good faith and political will. I know that we have it on our side. And I hope that we can expect the same from the outside and in that fashion and in that spirit, we can move forward.

ANDERSON: On Friday, momentum was still gathering, as Iran's foreign minister met his counterparts from the U.S., the U.K., France and Germany in Geneva. The secretary of State, John Kerry, took a cautious line on the progress of the talks.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: I want to emphasize, there are still some very important issues on the table that are unresolved. It is important for those to be properly, thoroughly addressed.

ANDERSON: Even if we do see a breakthrough in Geneva, both sides will have to deal with powerful stakeholders, both internal and external, that could still derail any lasting agreement.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, we are covering this from all angles for you.

Karl Penhaul is in Geneva for you this evening.

Reza Sayah is in Iran.

And Matthew Chance is in Jerusalem.

Let's start with you -- Karl.

The Iranian foreign minister left the hotel a couple of hours ago.

What did he say?

And what's the very latest from there?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's really the surprising thing, because Javad Zarif left the hotel, as you say, now more than two hours ago, heading to a meeting with the European Union high -- high representative, Catherine Ashton, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

We now understand that that meeting is in its third hour. We've seen some pictures, even, we believe cell phone video coming out from the Iranian state TV, press TV, as well.

Within the context of these last two days of talks, that really is exceptional that any meeting has gone on this long. Mostly meetings haven't gone on much more than half an hour, three quarters of an hour.

So it really does go to the core of what John Kerry was saying as he arrived, that there is still some of the nitty-gritty that needs to be talked about.

But quite clearly, they are getting down to business. They're not watching the clock on this. And that really, then, leads us to believe, as some of the diplomats have suggested, that the teams are ready to go some time into the weekend if negotiations need that kind of push.

On top of that, we're now hearing that Russia's foreign minister is headed to Geneva, as well. And that could be a further indication that some kind of deal may be signed some time soon.

Of course, the questions here, what will a deal look like?

All the deal -- all the diplomats have been talking about a two-phase deal. What we've been talking about that could be signed this weekend would be the first step. And that, essentially, would be Iran making some concessions on that disputed nuclear program, possibly on the question of uranium enrichment, giving assurances that it wouldn't continue to -- to enrich that uranium to a degree that could then be used at a later stage in a nuclear bomb.

And then in return, the Americans relaxing some of those sanctions that have been crippling Iran's economy.

That would then, in turn, pave the way for a final deal, the lasting deal, so to speak, that would permit Iran to pursue a peaceful nuclear program while guaranteeing that it would never build weapons of mass destruction -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes.

All right, and Karl, the devil, of course, in the detail and the details are being kept strictly between those parties who are negotiating at the moment.

And whatever this deal, it will have a major impact on people inside Iran.

And for more on that, let's cross to Reza Sayah, who is in the capital, Tehran, tonight.

There is talk that this phase could see the listing of some of these swinging sanctions that have been so tough for Iranians.

How significant would -- would a move be in Geneva this evening for Iranians, do you think? REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is very significant, Becky.

If this deal happens, if there's some sort of an agreement, even a partial agreement, when you look at this situation, the people who could have the most to gain are the Iranian people. Remember, they suffered through years of crippling economic sanctions, economic and political isolation from the West, from Washington. This is a population that's young, that's very sophisticated, maybe the most educated population in the region, 60 percent of university students here in Iran are women. And these are indications that this is an advanced civilization.

But because of this isolation, because of these sanctions, they've had a very difficult time. And they believe the key to improving their lives, improving the economy, is a nuclear deal, a fair settlement, where these -- some of these sanctions could be eased.

It's a little after midnight right now in Iran. It's late. There's a lot of anticipation, a lot of Iranians are eager to see an outcome. But I think the expectation is that if an agreement is signed, it's going to happen in the wee hours of the morning or tomorrow.

What adds to the suspense or the drama is we're not quite sure what's happening behind closed doors. But as Karl mentioned, there's strong indications that something significant is about to happen, especially when you've got these heavy hitters...

ANDERSON: Sure.

SAYAH: -- like U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the foreign ministers of U.K., Russia, China either there or on their way over there. These are indications that something significant is about to happen.

And the key, the position of Iran is uranium enrichment. They want to continue to enrich uranium.

Could they make a concession?

Could they halt uranium enrichment at 20 percent?

That's one of the big issues they're discussing right now in Geneva.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolute tenterhooks.

All right, thank you for that.

Let's not forget the potential spoilers in all of this. And one of those is very vocal, of course, and that's Israel.

Let's get the reaction from Jerusalem across the sea, to international correspondent, Matthew Chance -- prime minister, Matthew, Netanyahu is clearly not happy with any deal that is always potentially being worked out in Tehran.

For those viewers who don't understand the machinations of what is going on in Geneva, can you explain why?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think the Israelis regard these negotiations and this potential deal as little more than an Iranian trick to destroy the sanctions regime that has limited Iran over the past several years or so and to continue with its nuclear activities, its uranium enrichment activities, with a view, in the mind of Israel, to -- for Iran to eventually produce a bomb that would ultimately, perpetually, threaten the Jewish state.

It's a trick, though, that the Israelis say they're not falling for. They're extremely angry and disappointed, it seems, that this emerging nuclear deal is taking place in Geneva. There's been some furious words from the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who says he utterly rejects this nuclear deal. He says it's a bad deal and that Israel will do everything in its power to continue to defend itself against that Iranian nuclear threat.

Take a listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Iran got the deal of the century and the international community got a bad deal. This is a very bad deal. And utterly -- Israel utterly rejects this. And what I'm saying is shared by many, many in the region, whether or not they express it publicly.

Israel is not obliged by this agreement and Israel will do everything it needs to do to defend itself and to defend the security of its people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHANCE: Now, Becky, easing those sanctions, according to Israeli officials, is an historic mistake if that means uranium enrichment in Iran will be allowed to continue.

ANDERSON: What a (INAUDIBLE). A very, very significant story developing there in Geneva from Jerusalem and in Tehran for you this evening, and in Geneva.

We thank our correspondents very much, indeed.

Coming up after the break, a Bollywood superstar turns superhero. This week's CNN Preview -- your entertainment slot is up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: On this week's education of CNN Preview, film fans going gaga for Bollywood's biggest superhero, while Lady Gaga prepares to reveal her latest album. All that plus a chat with Javier Bardem and Michael Fassbender about their latest movie.

(VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: But we begin in Bollywood, where the superhero franchise film, "Krrish 3" is breaking box office records both in India and overseas.

(VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Rakesh Roshan directs his superstar son, Hrithik, as the hero, teaming up with actress Priyanka Chopra to foil a villain who's ready to unleash a deadly virus upon Mumbai.

HRITHIK ROSHAN, ACTOR: Krrish is your -- your quintessential superhero. He started off in 2002 with "Queen Milya" (ph), which was a film that I did which my father produced and in which I played this mentally challenged child who befriends an alien who gives him the powers and that those powers pass on to his son.

By the end of the film, we saw the birth of a superhero. But this one is your first full-fledged superhero film with a supervillain.

ANDERSON: The effects-laden film is proving so popular that many observers are predicting it will become only the third Hindi film in history to amass box office takings of two billion rupees, about $32 million.

PRIYANKA CHOPRA, ACTOR: It's one of the first few Indian films to have the V effects and the standards that we do in the movie. It's all homegrown. All of the effects are done in India.

ANDERSON: Roshan feels Hollywood can learn from the effects-laden film made on a budget, amounting to a fraction of a Marvel mega bucks movie.

ROSHAN: And I'm getting the feeling that once they see this one, they're going to do a (INAUDIBLE)...

ANDERSON: They're going to be in trouble.

ROSHAN: They're going -- they're going to be in trouble saying, you know, why the hell are we spending so much when they can achieve the same thing in 2 percent of the costs?

(VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: "The Counselor" heads to cinemas around the world this week, cast opening to mixed reviews in the US. Written by the Pulitzer Prize winning author, Cormac McCarthy, "The Counselor" is set in a cold world fueled by greed and ambition.

(VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Michael Fassbender is a legal counselor who leads a killer cast that includes Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Javier Bardem.

JAVIER BARDEM, ACTOR: Reiner (ph) is the link between the counselor, played by Michael Fassbender and the drug world. So the first time you see him, he's doing a cocktail in the middle of the desert with two chairs. That's the situation that Cormac McCarthy, the author, wrote on the script.

Everything that is said, it was written. And there -- and it's so beautifully written and it's like very powerful for any actor to have those words and those dialogues.

And it was a pleasure.

ANDERSON: The script was given to Ridley Scott to develop for the screen. Producers considered him the only director to possess the artistic clout worthy of the material.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER, ACTOR: As a director, you are the vision of the piece. So you have to keep the vision in some way, sort of clear, but also be a -- be awake and allow other people to sort of come in with their influences.

And he does that brilliantly. And plus, he knows where to put the camera. I mean when the -- that sounds silly, but a lot of directors just don't know where to put the camera. The camera here to here is -- is huge, you know.

And so he's got four of them operating at any one time. So he's just a kind of master visually, as well.

(VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: The film has divided critics in the U.S. and producers are hoping it will find a greater connection to the all important international box office.

For several months, Lady Gaga's 40 million Twitter followers have been teased with audio snippets, video clips and provocative art work from her upcoming third studio album, "ARTPOP." The waiting is almost over, as the record will be available across all media platforms from next week.

(singing)

ANDERSON: The sound of the first single, "Applause," set the tone for what's to come.

And we'll end this week's show with the latest single, "Venus."

(singing)

ANDERSON: I'm Becky Anderson.

That was CONNECT THE WORLD.

Stay with CNN for full coverage, of course, on what is going on with the weather in Asia. That's coming up with my colleague, Max Foster, after this short break.

END