Return to Transcripts main page
Special Coverage Of Supertyphoon Haiyan
Aired November 11, 2013 - 8:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL HOLMES, HOST: Hello everyone. I'm Michael Holmes at the CNN Center. Kristie Lu Stout in standing by in Manila. Welcome to a special edition of News Stream. We're continuing coverage of Typhoon Haiyan's aftermath.
Well, the official death toll in the Philippines is up, but there are fears that it could go so much higher. Getting aid to the people who need it remains the huge challenge at the moment. Many survivors scrambling to find even the most basic of necessities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is really, really like bad, bad. Worse than hell.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: And residents say they have never seen a storm like Haiyan. We're going to take a closer look at what made this super typhoon one of the worst ever recorded.
After tearing through the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan tracked a deadly path over Vietnam and into China where the remnants remain now. The Vietnam News Agency reports that six people have been killed in that part of the world. But the hard hit Philippines, of course, is the main focus this hour.
Aid had started to arrive in the coastal city of Tacloban, but food, water and medical supplies are in dangerously short supply. Soldiers now deployed to keep public order as there are reports that desperate people have been driven to breaking into stores just to survive.
The official death toll stands at 942, but the mayor of Tacloban has said it could rise as high as 10,000 in his province alone.
Three days after the super typhoon struck, images still coming in from the moment that Haiyan barreled through Tacloban. Just have a look at these pictures.
Just listening to that screaming wind you get a sense of the raw power of this typhoon, one of the strongest storms in recorded history.
CNN has correspondents right across the region covering the devastation left by the super typhoon. Paula Hancocks and Andrew Stevens are both in Tacloban, among the hardest hit cities in the Philippines. Anna Coren is in Cebu where the global relief effort is being mobilized. Ivan Watson, Kristie Lu Stout both following developments from the capital Manila.
And Kristie joins me now with the latest on the aftermath. Kristie, it's just staggering, it's hard to get your head around what has happened. And there are still so many areas we don't even know about yet.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right. The devastation has been absolutely catastrophic. It is now 9:00 pm here in the Philippines. It's nightfall. And that means no more aid flights to hard hit Tacloban City. And the reason why there's still no more power, no power there at the airport. And because there's no power, there's no means to light up the runways to allow the pilots to land their plans safely.
But U.S. Marines, they hope to change that. U.S. Marines are on the ground today in Tacloban City. With them, they have aid, C130 aircraft and also a plan to make the airport there operational on a 24 hour basis.
The Philippines, the government here has also sent their special forces on the ground bringing aid and also a pledge to restore peace and order.
The situation on the ground there is increasingly desperate. Paula Hancocks is there. She filed this report.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Carrying all they could from their devastated lives. A steady stream of typhoon Haiyan victims keeps arriving at the Tacloban airport looking for food, water and escape.
Magina Fernandez lost her home and business. She is desperate to leave on the next military plane.
MAGINA FERNANDEZ, TYPHOON VICTIM: Get international help to come here now. Not tomorrow, now. This is really, really like bad, bad worse than hell. Worse than hell.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): As the president of the Philippines Benigno Aquino arrives to assess the damage, Fernandez causes on her anger.
FERNANDEZ: We need to get the word out. The Philippines government can't do this alone.
BENIGNO AQUINO, PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES: There is also a breakdown, especially the local government there. They are necessarily first responders. And too many of them were also affected and did not report for work. That also contributed to the slow delivery.
MAYOR ALFRED ROMUALDEZ, TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES: People here were convinced that it looked like a tsunami.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): The mayor of Tacloban almost lost his life in the storm surge. He admits a death toll as high as 10,000 is possible.
ROMUALDEZ: I have not spoken to anyone who hasn't lost someone a relative or close to them. And now, we are looking for a many as we can and we are still trying to retrieve so people here.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): Faces here tell us story of horror.
(on camera): And many of the people here have been walking for hours to through the devastation to get here to get food and water from the military themselves. Many of them just say they were too desperate to wait for help to get to them.
(voice-over): The young, the old and injured all board a military c- 130 leaving death and destruction behind them.
Paula Hancocks, CNN. Tacloban.
LU STOUT: Now let's get more now on Haiyan, the storm system that caused so much devastation. Haiyan, it still poses a threat to populations in Vietnam and southern China. And we also need to get an update on a separate storm system that's been developing to the southeast of the Philippines that will be certainly complicating relief efforts across the country here. Let's go straight to my colleague Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center for that -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kristie. We're going to get into all that in just a moment.
I want to start you off with this image right here behind me. The Saffir-Simpson scale, which basically rates tropical systems. And this is from the National Hurricane Center. Remember, we kept saying that if Supertyphoon Haiyan was in the Atlantic we'd be calling it a category five. And I showed you this on Thursday, remember. And I said I know this is a lot for you to read, but I just want you to focus on this last line right down here, most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months, the damage catastrophic, that is the forecast that I gave you on Thursday about what we could expect with this storm.
Because remember that we were talking about a major storm system, a major storm system that was headed into a densely populated area. People compare this, oh, well what about Hurricane Katrina, that was huge right? Yeah, that maxed out at winds of 200 kilometers per hour. We're talking the way to the other end of the scale with Haiyan with winds of over 300 kilometers per hour.
So if you're talking about tornadoes, that would be an EF4 kind of range, or maybe EF5 in some cases. And of course we're not talking about a tornado that is maybe a mile or two wide, a kilometer or two wide, which would be devastating, we're talking about something that was, what, 40, 50 miles wide, 80 kilometers possibly with that eye moving across those areas. So this is very significant and that is why we're seeing all of this damage.
And then of course you have on top of that the population density, color-coded here. And this line shows you where the storm went through. So almost every single thing came together here to bring us a so-called perfect storm.
With the situation -- the only thing this typhoon didn't do was hover over this area too long, because it was moving at about 40 kilometers per hour. That would be the only thing.
So the storm moved across the Philippines, of course, as we've been saying, moved across the South China Sea, made landfall in Vietnam.
I have pictures to show you from Vietnam and what happened there. It did kill at least half a dozen people, about six people reported dead already in this area alone. Winds gusting to more than 150 kilometers per hour. There is some reports of damage, reports of flooding. And you can see there, of course, some of that happening there.
Come back over to the weather map. I'll give you some of the stats associated with this weather system right over here.
As far as rainfall, in some cases over 150 millimeters of rain. In Beihai in China, they had over 360 millimeters of rain. And as far as the wind in this area alone, look at that, in southern China 180 kilometer per hour winds. So of course when you compare to what happened in the Philippines it doesn't seem like much, but it has been enough to pose a threat for life and property in this part of the world as well.
Kristie, notice right over here that we're still getting some very heavy rain associated with this weather system. Very quickly the forecast for the Philippines. Rain will be a concern, as you mentioned, with this area of low pressure that has formed in this region. More rain is likely. How much rain are we talking here? Well, enough I think that will put a hamper on rescue efforts. Surigao maybe 111, Tacloban maybe 70 millimeters of rain. So helicopters will not be able to fly, problems with visibility. And yes, the threat for flooding.
Back to you.
LU STOUT: All right, Mari Ramos there, thank you. And very, very worrying to hear that rain will be posing a problem for relief efforts and posing a problem for so many people left homeless as a result of this disaster. Again, that figure from the Philippines government over 600,000 people have been displaced as a result of Haiyan.
Now joining me now is Richard Gordon with the Red Cross. And he has had absolutely no sleep since this disaster unfolded, just working on this. Right now, you've had the aid, you have the pledged. For you, the challenge is getting it out to the impact sites. How is that coming along?
RICHARD GORDON, PHILIPPINE RED CROSS: Well, it stopped going because the access roads are very difficult. If you travel by land, last night we had 15 truck convoy going out there with water, with food and everything.
The (inaudible), which means that they will be there not some 24 hours. So they'll be there perhaps about 36 hours.
LU STOUT: 36 hours from now?
GORDON: Traveling. And -- no, no, another 12 more -- another 20 hours more.
LU STOUT: Oh, my goodness.
GORDON: And then if you go by sea, then you have to make sure that the ship goes there and that you have to go through and negotiate the road leading to Cebu from either Ormo (ph) or from by from other towns.
Then the other problem is security. People are getting desperate. And this is the biggest challenge. It's not just logistical, it's a morale problem. People have lost their morale. People are beginning to think that, hey, nobody is taking care of us so we're just going to have to get whatever it is. And I'm not talking about a lot of people, just a few. And they're getting away with it.
The government must step in and protect even if they're an organizations, their stuff from being looted. In fact, the citizens have already been complaining about that.
LU STOUT: The citizens have been complaining. They confronted Benigno Aquino about this yesterday in Tacloban. We know that Philippine special forces are on the ground, that they are pledging to restore peace and order there. But you're saying it's not enough, you need extra protection as humanitarian relief workers.
GORDON: Well, I think that the visibility getting the ring leaders of these people -- once the people see that there is resolute action -- I would even recommend that when the humanitarian workers start giving out, they should be a clear (inaudible) for about three or four hours. And the people identify to get through the relief should be the ones that (inaudible).
LU STOUT: You're calling for a curfew.
Now one more question...
GORDON: No, no, a curfew just for distribution, not a curfew the whole day.
LU STOUT: For the distribution of...
GORDON: Yes, yes.
LU STOUT: I have to ask you a question about the rain. Mari Ramos from the world weather center expressing her concern about more rain. Of course the area is already saturated. It is prone to flooding, prone to landslides. How is that going to complicate your relief effort?
GORDON: Well, you took the words right out of my mouth. It's going to be complicated, because it is saturated and you have a little bit more wind, a little bit more rain. You might have landslides and which means again access will be a problem not to mention the fact that there will be more injured people, or more fatalities.
Then you have to reckon also with the dying out there. So we are bringing 2,000 body bags just to be sure that we can manage the dead. We also need to manage the living. And the living has got to be managed by providing them with temporary shelter, food, very important. And of course, non-food items like blankets, you know, creature comforts, stuff like that. And we have that. It's getting in there.
But it's slow going. And now that the airport is open, we can bring in a lot more stuff. But we have to have the atmosphere in which there will be a reasonable, sustainable, safe distribution of goods.
LU STOUT: That's right. That's where you're calling for that curfew for the aid to be distributed. Unfortunately, we've got to leave it at that. Richard Gordon of the Red Cross, thank you so much. Best of luck to you and your teams on the ground here across the Philippines. And thank you for your work.
Now let's take it back to -- and good luck -- let's take it back to my colleague Michael Holmes. And Michael, as Richard was saying just then, I mean, they are dealing with so much: the logistical challenge, the security challenge. And of course the weather with this additional storm system coming through. Back to you.
HOLMES: Yeah, (inaudible) is about health issues as well. Kristie, thanks so much. Kristie Lu Stout there in Manila.
All right, if you want to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, and many of you do we know, you can start by logging on to our website. There is a long list there of reputable charities. They have been vetted. Your money will be going to the right place. Learn about the work that they are all doing on the ground. Check it out at CNN.com/impact.
We're going to have a lot more on the aftermath of Supertyphoon Haiyan in the Philippines when this special edition of CNN News Room continues. A massive relief effort underway, but much of that aid still not reaching everyone who needs it. We're going to take you right into the center of the storm, also, with a man who shot that video of the typhoon at its worst. Stay with us.
HOLMES: The images coming out of the Philippines as you have seen are very powerful indeed. We're going to show you some more now.
These were once homes along the coast, people's houses now flattened by the winds and storm surge brought on by the Supertyphoon. Trees literally ripped from the ground by their roots, not one left standing in that photograph there.
Hundreds of thousands of people, of course, are homeless. Many now sifting through what used to be their homes in search of anything, some basic necessities, perhaps, some mementos. The need for aid incredibly desperate. Hard to say how desperate it is.
These men painting on a basketball court help, SOS. We need food.
But amid all of the death and destruction, there is new life -- look at that photograph there, that baby born in a makeshift hospital at Tacloban Airport.
And not the only one either.
Let's go back to the Philippines capital, Manila now. Our Kristie Lu Stout part of our CNN team on the ground. Over to you, Kristie.
LU STOUT: I still can't get over just these images of the catastrophic damage caused by the super typhoon. And our colleague, the storm chase, James Reynolds. He was on the ground with the CNN crew on Friday when the storm roared ashore. And he was on the ground to experience firsthand that deadly and powerful storm surge, that wave of water that was up to five meters tall that swept through the entire community there along the coast like a tsunami, utterly devastating.
And James Reynolds, he joins us now live from Hong Kong. And James, could you describe to our audience worldwide your experience when you felt the storm surge?
JAMES REYNOLDS, STORM CHASER: Hi, Kristie.
Well, as the surge came in and inundated the city it was at the time when the winds were howling and screaming. So it was really a double punch. And the really frightening thing about the surge was just the speed at which it rose up and flooded the city.
In the hotel I was staying in, there were residents who were caught off guard. They couldn't get out of their hotel room as the water was rising. And suddenly we had this scene unfolding in front of us with desperate people trying to escape their room. The door wouldn't open and they're smashing glass with their fists to try and escape and save their lives, Kristie. It was a harrowing scene.
LU STOUT: When you were able to walk outside, could you describe the immediate aftermath? I've seen some of your videos that you posted on YouTube. And the imagery, it's absolutely apocalyptic. Describe them for us.
REYNOLDS: Yeah, it was just a desperate scene, a shell shocked residents emerging onto the streets. And some people not really comprehending, or being able to grasp the severity of what had happened.
I went immediately down to the waterfront area near where our hotel was. And it was, as others have said, it was like a tsunami had hit. That is not a cliche. I've seen tsunami aftermath before and it was very, very similar.
People were pulling bodies out of the rubble. I saw one elderly gentleman who had half of his ear ripped off. It was just horrendous scenes. And I can only imagine what these people are still suffering and going through, you know, three, four days after the disaster -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Now, James, within 24 hours you realized that you and your team had to get out because of something that happened to your member Mark. Could you tell us what happened and how did you manage to get out?
REYNOLDS: Yes, well, I was mentioning about the situation with the rising storm surge. It was one of those moments where you kind of had to put the cameras down and try and assist the people who are being trapped. And my colleague Mark was wading into the flood waters and unfortunately he didn't see a jagged piece of metal which ripped his shin open to his bone, a really, really nasty, serious injury which really escalated matters for us as, you know, camera crew on the ground.
As luck would have it, by some sort of miracle, we managed to escape the city 36 hours after the typhoon had hit by a military helicopter and then a cargo plane to Cebu. If he had been stuck there any longer, things could have escalated very seriously if infection had set in. It's not a place you want to be wounded and stranded right now, Kristie.
LU STOUT: And James, a final question for you, and it is a critical one. Did the people of Tacloban have any idea that a deadly storm surge was coming?
REYNOLDS: I don't think they did. I spoke to numerous people at one hotel. Actually we checked into two hotels before the typhoon hit and we ended up abandoning both of them, because we were not comfortable about how close they were to the water.
The staff didn't really comprehend what was coming. We tried to warn people, but the message -- they just weren't really expecting the water to come in like this.
Typhoons hit the Philippines very often, every year, but the water does not rise like it did during Supertyphoon Haiyan, it's just not something they're accustomed to, so it really, really took them by surprise and despite all the warnings which had been issued as well, Kristie.
LU STOUT: All right, James Reynolds there, thank you so much for sharing your first-person account. And thank you for sharing just those really gripping images of the catastrophe there.
James Reynolds, storm chaser who works very closely with CNN.
And you can find his first-person account at CNN.com. It's a good one. You don't want to miss it.
Let's go back to my colleague Michael Holmes -- Michael.
HOLMES: Kristie, thanks so much. We'll check with you again. Kristie Lu Stout there on the ground in Manila.
And you are watching news Stream. Coming up, we'll have more on the unfolding humanitarian disaster in the Philippines. There is so much to fear from disease to hunger. Thousands of families now homeless, survivors trying to cope with a lack of food and medicine and even burying the dead. Stay with us.
LU STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout live in Manila with this special edition of News Stream as we continue to focus on the aftermath of Supertyphoon Haiyan.
It is almost four days since the storm struck. And relief workers are frantically still trying to reach survivors. Relief workers are up against a number of challenges, logistical challenges as roads remain blocked, as airports remain closed because there's not enough power. Security challenges as well as we heard from the representative of the Red Cross here in the Philippines just a moment ago. And of course weather challenges as well as a new storm system moves in.
Now let's get more on the relief effort with our Anna Coren. She joins us live from Cebu City. And Anna, how are relief workers mobilizing the aid effort there?
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, we are at the Cebu airfield which has been a hive of activity all day. There have been C-130 Hercules flying in and out delivering aid to those hard hit areas.
Now, you mentioned earlier the need for food and for fresh water. They've been going for days without it. So these supplies desperately need to get to those people.
We traveled with the military to some of those hard hit areas to get the full extent of the damage.
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Above the vast blue sea that separates the thousands of islands that make up the Philippines, a rescue mission is underway. We're traveling with the military to a remote group of islands devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan, yet to be reached by authorities. From the air, we can see the carnage. Home after home, village after village, nowhere has been spared. On the ground lie the injured with broken bones and internal bleeding. They've been waiting for days for a medical evacuation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I haven't seen anything like this before. I thought I'd only see this on television.
COREN (on camera): There's a real sense of desperation here on the ground, while the focus is obviously on the sick and the injured and getting them to safety. The people of this hard-hit island need food and fresh water. They've been without it for days. And despite assurances from the government, it has yet to arrive. The problem facing authorities is logistics, getting these supplies to these hard- hit and remote areas, and to the people who need it.
(voice-over): All these people have lost their homes. They're now staying in tents and makeshift shelters they've erected from the debris. And while they say they received the storm warnings from the government and took what they thought was appropriate action, no one here anticipated that mother nature would unleash such fury.
UNIDENITIFE MALE: At my age of 35, I experienced a lot of typhoons, but this is the worst one.
COREN: This air field in Cebu has become the staging ground for the country's biggest relief operation. C-130 Hercules fly in survivors, all shell shocked from what they've just lived through.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I cannot say anything yet. I'm still in shock. I am so sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of people are dead. Our friends are dead. Some of our family members are dead. So it's really devastating.
COREN: As the death toll grows by the day, families here desperately wait for news of their loved ones.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am the only survivor of the family and I want to know then if they are still alive.
COREN: Having had no contact since the typhoon hit, many say hope is all they can hold on to.
COREN: Absolutely excruciating, Kristie. You can only imagine what these people must be going through. So many people are still missing as we know presumed dead, Kristie.
LU STOUT: You know, Anna, it was absolutely gut-wrenching to hear that woman tell you that in the aftermath of the storm she is the only member of her family to be alive.
And Anna, also in the story that you filed just then, you talked about the logistical challenge for the relief effort. You're there in Cebu City. You've been watching the relief effort for the last two days. Is it your sense that -- are you seeing the bottleneck because of the logistical challenge? Are you seeing a lot of aid being collected there, but staying there because there's no means to get it out to the most hard hit areas?
COREN: Kristie, to tell the truth it's been quite disorganized. You know, I think it's pretty understandable in any natural disaster and a storm like this. You know, people have been talking about the warning and the preparation that went into -- you know, Supertyphoon Haiyan, but at the end of the day as we've spoken to people --and I know you've also spoken to people, no one was expecting the storm to be this big. So it really has caught people off guard. And it's caught the government off guard. They thought they were prepared for what would come in its wake. And in actual fact, you know, they are very much behind the eight ball.
As we know, Indonesia is an archipelago -- I should say the Philippines is an archipelago. You know, some 7,000 islands. And so so many of those islands have really been washed away. You know, one of the ones that we traveled to today with the military, some 90 percent of that area has been devastated.
So this is what the government and the military is up against.
You know, you mentioned the runways being washed out, you mentioned the roads being washed out. So, really, this aid that is being stacked up at the airport along the runway right behind us, which will go out first thing tomorrow morning, it can only be shipped out by helicopter or by those cargo planes.
So, that's what we're likely to see in the next couple of days. This will become a real, you know, hive of activity as those planes get off the ground on a pretty much an hourly basis.
LU STOUT: That's right. We're waiting for daybreak and then that can begin once again.
Anna Coren reporting live from Cebu City. Thank you so much for your reporting.
Let's go back to Michael Holmes -- Michael.
HOLMES: Kristie, Anna, thanks so much.
Ahead here on News Stream, the path of the storm, where the rebuilding of homes destroying in the super typhoon has already begun, incredibly.
Also, the anguish of Filipinos living overseas still waiting for news of those loved ones back at home.
HOLMES: I'm Michael Holmes at the CNN Center. Welcome back to our special addition of News Stream today.
Well, relief is getting into the main Philippine city devastated by Supertyphoon Haiyan if not everywhere else. U.S. Marines have started arriving along with some government aid, but our reporter in Tacloban says it looks like distribution networks are not yet up and running. No aid trucks have been seen on that airport road into the city in the past few hours.
Survivors of the typhoon and the storm surge are desperate now, some resorting to scavenging in the debris of the storm.
While the official death toll from the disaster stands at 942, many say that thousands more have died, they just haven't been added up yet.
Amid the carnage, the search for survivors does continue, but some people are at breaking point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Everything is destroyed, everything is gone. The only thing left are our clothes and my child.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I am asking for help, because I no longer have a home. I do not have any money. I do not have anything left.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We need help. We do not have anything to eat. Our homes are lost.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Let's go back to the region now, Manila, and Kristie Lu Stout is there -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: And Michael, more than three days on since this super typhoon hit the Philippines, many survivors, especially in hard hit areas like Tacloban City, they are getting frustrated, they're getting angry because the aid is not coming in fast enough.
Survivors have been telling our CNN crews on the ground there that what they're experiencing is worse than hell. Doctors are saying they can't go on because they don't have the medicine and the essential supplies and the local population let alone themselves.
Now we have been showing you the reports from our Andrew Stevens and our Paula Hancocks who have been on the ground there in Tacloban City. But here, Ivan Watson, he managed to take a tour with the Philippine Civil Aviation Authority to get a wider aerial view of the total devastation.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Approach to a shattered city. Tacloban, the first major population center to be struck by super- typhoon Haiyan. Amid the ruins of the airport here, desperate people waiting for food and clean water. Some hoping for a flight out of the storm zone.
MURRAY ATTWAAD, TOURIST, NEW ZEALAND: Hopefully, we can get a C-130 to manila or something. We'll just have to watch. It is a waiting game. As with any situation like this. It's catastrophic.
WATSON (voice-over): In this catastrophe, some residents say they're terrified of lawlessness and looting.
RICHARD YOUNG, BUSINESSMAN: We are forming groups now. As a matter of fact, if you will see, since last night we have whistles, you know. We were all awake the whole night. If someone attempts in our street, you know, we all whistle with flashlight and everything, we have our firearms, we will show it, you know, within our property.
WATSON (voice-over): You're afraid of being robbed.
YOUNG: Yes, we're afraid of being robbed.
WATSON (voice-over): From the misery and fear of Tacloban, we fly west following the path of the storm to Roxas, Kalibo and Busuanga. We accompanied officials from the Filipino civilian aviation authority. Like other government agencies, they're trying to assess damage to other islands in the Philippines.
WILLIAM HOTCHKISS, GENERAL DIRECTOR, CIVILIAN AVIATION AUTHORITY OF PHILIPPINES: I was 37 years in the air force. I've flown all over the country. And I have experienced the storms before, but not to the extent this one put us into.
WATSON (voice-over): In the other towns we saw, the typhoon shattered windows ripped off roofs. But fortunately, these communities did not suffer the far more deadly surge of ocean water that swept through Tacloban.
(on camera): The typhoon swept through here days ago and now the long hard work of rebuilding has just begun. All these damage was done in just a matter of hours. And nobody here really knows how long it will take to truly recover.
MELY FABIAN, STORE OWNER: We have no electricity, no water. And most badly, we have to flights. No boat coming here. So, we have no food.
WATSON (voice-over): Haiyan has shocked an island nation long accustomed to typhoons. Everyone here tells us they've never seen a storm this powerful before.
Ivan Watson, CNN, Tacloban in the Philippines.
LU STOUT: Now for more on the aid and relief effort, I'm joined by Justin Morgan. He's the country director of Oxfam. And just how much aid is getting to the impact cites?
JUSTIN MORGAN, COUNTRY DIRECTOR, OXFAM: There's not enough getting there at the moment. Logistically it is such a challenge. I mean, organizations are able to get small efforts in there at the moment. The government is, through the military, getting some level of aid. But it is staying very close to the places where they can drop it off at the airports that are open and in a few locations.
But people in the far reaches are missing out at the moment.
LU STOUT: There's a new storm system southeast of the Philippines. There is rain. It's raining right now here in Manila. How is that complicating your effort?
MORGAN: It's definitely a concern. We need to make sure that the shelter that is provided at the moment is going to be able to withstand what is the storm coming. Additionally, that storm front is likely to hit where the earthquake only hit a month-and-a-half ago in the Bahol (ph) area. And that's a concern for that area as well.
LU STOUT: You know, we are close to four days since the super typhoon hit. Do you sense that there is this window of opportunity that is closing day by day as these communities are closed off, that things could get from bad to even worse here?
MORGAN: It certainly is the case. I mean, without access to good food and water, every day the risk of disease increases in such situations. And so the imperative is to get things in quickly, but that has challenged significantly by the logistic constraints that we have to face.
LU STOUT: And the scale of the devastation and areas that are most hard hit. We were listening to Ivan Watson just then and what he was able to gather from that aerial tour is that the focus really is on Samar (ph) and on Lete (ph). Is that your view as well at Oxfam?
MORGAN: It is indeed. We also, though, to get to access some places we've been trying to use helicopters and the like, but even that we can't land in some locations because they're still under water from the flooding and the torrential rain.
LU STOUT: Wow.
Well, Justin Morgan, we're going to have to leave it at that. Thank you so much. And we wish your team a very best as you help the people at these impact sites, the people of the Philippines.
MORGAN: Thank you very much.
LU STOUT: I'm going to send it back to my colleague, Michael Holmes - - Michael.
MORGAN: Kristie, thanks so much.
Well, for many Filipinos living abroad are desperately trying to locate relatives and friends back home. Nearly 400,000 Filipinos live in the Los Angeles area alone.
Stephanie Elam spoke to one family anxiously searching and waiting for news.
NINO ARENA, BROTHER OF VICTIM: It's sickening.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Since Typhoon Haiyan hit, Nino Arena and his sister Marie (ph) have been scouring social media looking for any sign that their half-sister, Daileen (ph) Arena, is alive.
NINO ARENA: I want it to be daylight over there so at least we get more -- more progress, we get more news.
ELAM: The family believes that 20-year-old Daileen rode out the storm at her job with APAC Customer Services just south of hard-hit Tacloban City and Palo, instead of heading back to her home in Jaro.
ARENA: She commutes every day, but for this particular day, she decided to stay there because of the bad weather. The last text message we got from her is just her asking if her mom is OK.
ELAM: For Nino, the pictures of the aftermath of the typhoon hit home.
ARENA: I studied in that city. And looking the images and looking at the people -- at the people there, I could -- I could see myself in that place. I could see my half-sister in that place. It's very personal.
ELAM: Perhaps the strongest tropical cyclone in recorded history, Typhoon Haiyan slammed the Philippines with a force 3.5 times stronger than Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
That unnerves Nino who is constantly swapping with Dailyn's brother. He's safe in Manila.
ARENA: Construction is strong, but it has only a ground floor, and it's really close to the water.
ELAM: Despite the devastatingly high number of people that may have died, Nino remains optimistic.
How is the hope level within your family?
ARENA: It's high. We believe in divine intervention and we believe that she made it.
ELAM: Stephanie Elam, CNN, Los Angeles.
HOLMES: And Nino by far not the only person in this gut-wrenching situation. From Hong Kong, Daisy is trying to find about 30 members of her family. You can read all about her ordeal on our web site.
And if you want to submit information about your missing friend or relative. Do feel free to log on to CNN.com/Philippinesmissing.
Still to come here on a special edition of News Stream, an extraordinary account of when the super typhoon hit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And then a torrent of black water began pouring into the hotel. The storm surge had begun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Our crew in Tacloban is caught as the waters rise around them. Andrew Stevens reporters notebook when we come back.
HOLMES: All right, on this months' Art of Movement we meet scientists studying the secrets of birds in flight. At Stanford University in California, a team is using a special camera to understand how birds stay in the air. And Nick Glass reports for us now, they want to use the data to develop flying robots.
NICK GLASS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Early morning in California and apparently nothing is moving in the cactus garden, or is it? These are perfect conditions as it happens for a flying display and for some intensive humming bird watching.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I study how birds fly. And I use that as inspiration for developing new robots, small micro vehicles that can fly close to buildings or in cluttered environments or in turbulence. They actually encounter the exact same problems that birds have encountered, you know, for millions of years and solved.
GLASS: Dr. Lenping's (ph) research students at Stanford University in Palo Alto are filming hummingbirds with a special new high speed camera to see how they fly so brilliantly.
To us it all seems like a blur, but after 2,000 frames per second the camera captures things we can see with the naked eye, the extraordinary biomechanics of flight.
RIVERS INGERSOLL, GRADUATE STUDENT, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: So flies and bumblebees fly like this, they go downstroke and then upstroke. They flip their wings backwards, inverted. And most birds kind of float -- put -- use they're downstroke to support most of their weight like this.
So hummingbirds are interesting because they fly more like insects than actual birds.
GLASS: This new technology is revealing movement in birds that had never, ever been seen before like hummingbirds performing barrel rolls and body shakes 55 per second, faster than any other vertebrate on the planet.
Dr. Lenping's (ph) research program has been going on for about a year-and-a-half. This is the Dell fly (ph), probably the most successful of their flying machines so far, and able to stay airborne for 15 minutes or so, longer than any flapping machine in history.
Parrotlets, the smallest of parrot species have a lab to themselves. The controlled indoor environment allows the team to train the birds and study the detail of individual wing beats. This blue parrotlet called Rue has been undergoing training for six months.
EIRIK RAVNAN, GRADUATE STUDENT, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: We actually don't know how bird fly. We can estimate maybe 70 percent of their lift, but we have no model telling us how they actually stay in the air.
GLASS: It's very repetitious and the birds take some coaxing, but when they take to the air their movement is mesmerizing.
JAN WOUTER KRUYT, GRADUATE STUDENT, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: They actually have a very intricate motion that is very different in the down stroke and in the up stroke. So what they're actually doing is going down like this and then moving the wings very close to their body and going back up and then moving down again. It's way more complex than I just showed you.
GLASS: One short flight for a parrotlet, one giant leap for flying robot design, or at least that's the hope.
Right, you know, looking at the work desk in your lab, it looks like something that might have been created by the Wright Brothers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have to laugh, because I would never compare myself to the Wright Brothers, I think they're amazing. But what's similar is that we are really starting something new. We are trying to develop microwave vehicles directly inspired by birds in ways that we all have been struggling with for a long time.
GLASS: Do you dream of it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I definitely dream of it. Actually, I dream most about birds themselves. I think their behavior is extraordinary.
GLASS: By looking through a lens, we're beginning to see the dream, to see exactly how much they move in the blink of an eye.
HOLMES: Fascinating stuff. Well, coming up here on News Stream, inside the super typhoon, our reporter's harrowing account of the storm first-person when we come back.
HOLMES: Well, the pictures we have all seen on the ground show the destruction Supertyphoon Haiyan left behind. But its massive scale is most apparent from another angle. Have look now at this striking photograph, just look at that, the killer storm as seen from space.
NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg weeted this picture on Saturday from nearly 400 kilometers above the earth.
Let's go back live to the Philippine capital now. Kristie Lu Stout is still there in Manila -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Mike, I still can't get over that photo that was shared from the astronaut Karen Nyberg. It just shows the scale and the intensity of the super typhoon. And even before super typhoon Haiyan made landfall on Friday, our own Mari Ramos at the CNN world weather center warned us and the world about the danger of the storm surge. And Mari was absolutely right.
As we saw, the super typhoon there was that huge wave of water that crashed through all the low lying populations, especially in Lete Province (ph) and neighboring Samar (ph).
Mari Ramos, she joins us now from the CNN world weather center. She continues to keep a very close eye on the region -- Mari.
RAMOS: Kristie, this is one of those situation where, you know, we wish we were wrong. Everything that was happening with this cyclone was pointing in that direction, that this was going to be a massive storm. We kept seeing the winds increasing and increasing over and over. And then we had that landfall.
Remember, when you talk about a storm this intense, the storm surge is the biggest killer. And that has traditionally been the biggest killer -- not the wind and not the rain, not the flooding, the storm surge is the biggest killer when it comes to tropical cyclones, with landfalling tropical cyclones. And this being the strongest storm -- or one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall, especially in these very vulnerable areas, the devastation was phenomenal.
I want to show you just very quickly a couple of things. This is that same area, we're looking at it on Google Earth here. I want to zoom in to this town. We haven't heard too much about what's happening there. I want to go ahead and show you a picture of that same region. Look at that, the destruction here is amazing. What I think happened here is the water went from one side of this little peninsula to the other very, very easily, very, very quickly.
The next image, this one is from -- let me go ahead and on Google here show you another area that I want to talk to you about. And we've talked quite bit about Tacloban. The area that I marked, that is the Hotel Alejandro where our own Andrew Stevens was staying with James Reynolds. And we saw the devastation there.
And then of course we have what happened at the airport. And this is the airport in Tacloban almost completely destroyed.
Again, here, I think not only the wind, but of course the storm surge was the biggest concern. And you can see everything just destroyed. People, survivors trying to get food and shelter as Paula Hancocks have been reporting from that area.
Let's talk very quickly about this storm surge with my last 30 seconds. What is that? Well, what happens is you have your mean sea level, your average sea level, then you have your high tide, then you have the storm surge, which is that wall of water that comes in. It is very much like a tsunami, Kristie, all of that combinations of things, in some cases over four to five meters high in some of those hardest hit areas.
Storm surge, of course, the killer.
Back to you.
LU STOUT: That's right, Mari. Our Andrew Stevens was on the ground in Tacloban City when that storm surge roared ashore. And up next, we're going to listen right now his powerful account of what he witnessed firsthand in the aftermath.
STEVENS: This is what the inside of a super typhoon looks like, 250 kilometer an hour plus winds slamming into a city, a white haze of screaming noise, smashing windows, tearing metal, water and flying debris.
Just minutes after we'd finished our live shots telling headquarters that we were moving to safer ground, cameraman Brad Olsen (ph) shot this of the place we'd just left.
OK, guys. I think we should wrap it up.
As the destruction there continued, a floor below, terrified residents huddled together finding protection against the flying spray and mind numbing noise. Some pray for their safety.
We're sheltering in the corridor. It's a relatively secure area I think where we are. There's a very substantial hotel, this, and we are away from windows. But all around us you hear the sounds of windows breaking, you hear the sounds of large objects falling, crashing to the floor. And under foot it is now just a deluge. And if you look behind me, I don't know if you can see it, the staircase behind me is now basically a waterfall.
And then a torrent of black water began pouring into the hotel. The storm surge had begun.
Within a few minutes, it was at ground floor window level.
A panicked family now trapped in their room smashed the window and screamed for help. We managed to get the mother across to safety using a foam mattress. And it immediately became clear that cause of her panic: their daughter was severely disabled.
Storm chaser Josh Morgaman (ph) and I went back across to get the terrified girl to safety. And CNN producer Tim Schwartz (ph) helped rescue the rest of the family.
The waters only rose a little higher. The height of the storm, in fact, had passed.
Two hours later, the winds had lost their lethal strength. Our live position was a ruined shell. And as we walked outside, it was immediately clear that so much of the city had suffered so much more than we had.
Andrew Stevens, CNN, Tecloban City, central Philippines.
HOLMES: That is News Stream for this day. For Kristie Lu Stout in Manila, I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company. The news continues at CNN, though. World Business Today is next.