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Special Coverage Of Super Typhoon Haiyan
Aired November 13, 2013 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: Welcome to News Stream. I'm Kristie Lu Stout live in Manila.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CO-HOST: Michael Holmes here at the CNN Center in Atlanta. This is special coverage of the disaster in the Philippines.
International aid arriving in the Philippines, many people say at last. The next challenge, getting it to the people who need it most.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't have homes. We lost our homes. And we have nothing to eat. We really need help now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Survivors also searching for their missing loved ones, although many are losing hope and fear the worst.
Hello, everyone. Tons of international aid finally arriving in the Philippines, but delivering it to survivors who are in desperate need is proving slow and difficult. While roads and runways continue to be cleared, food and water, the top priorities as well, of course, as evacuating the injured so they can receive much needed medical attention.
Now the enormity of this task is staggering. More than 2 million people need food, that's according to the government. The official death toll, meanwhile, from the disaster has risen above 2,200. It is almost certain to rise.
The United Nations humanitarian chief is in Tacloban to assess the emergency needs, provisions and the like. He spoke a short time ago to CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VALERIE AMOS, U.N. EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR: Things are beginning to move now. But we still have people who are hungry, who haven't had water. I'm very pleased that a field hospital will be set up, I hope, by the latest tomorrow morning.
They're bringing in a lot more, but we need vehicles -- we need a lot of vehicles to come in from Manila so that we can get out to the outlying areas. We now have more C-130 aircraft, but we need (inaudible). We need more helicopters. But we need things like waste management so that the bodies on the side of the road can be moved.
We have to move the debris. Yes, the roads are now open, because the debris has been pushed aside, but we have to -- this is a major operation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Yeah, in part it's the geography of the Philippine archipelago that is making a delivery and distribution so difficult.
Won't you take a look at a map here and consider the logistics that are involved. The central aid hub is at Cebu City, that is on Cebu Island, the other main islands affected by the typhoon are Leyte and Samar.
Guiuan, on the east coast of Samar was where the typhoon first made landfall and wiped out that town. We reported on that yesterday with Anna Coren.
Now Tacloban City on Leyte is also devastated, but help is needed all along the coast, inland as well and in Ormoc City to the west.
Military planes shuttling supplies now to Tacloban and elsewhere. From there, Philippine forces will distribute it by helicopter or road when possible.
The U.S. navy sending three amphibious assault ships to the region, also an aircraft carrier. The region is going to be greatly assisted by that. It's going to help aid get to isolated areas, particularly the air capability that comes with that aircraft carrier. Those ships, by the way, can turn sea water into clean drinking water, another important point. They also have special supply vehicles that can move over and through piles of debris. And there is no shortage of that.
Let's go live to the Philippine capital now. Kristie Lu Stout in Manila for us -- Kristie.
LU STOUT: Michael, it's been five days since the super typhoon hit and the need on the ground is absolutely immense. These are the priorities right now -- number one is security is maintaining law and order, especially in light of these reports from Leyte Province of a rice warehouse being looted and there was a deadly stampede there.
And number two, another priority, is just to get food, water, basic essentials and medicine out to the people who need it most. Again, it's been five days they've been closed off from the outside world since this typhoon. They've reached breaking point days ago.
Number three on the priority list is the recovery effort. You still have piles of bodies lining the streets of places like hard hit Tacloban City and those corpses need to be collected.
Now the scale of this task is absolutely immense. New grim figures from the United Nations saying 11.3 million people have been affected in terms of the number displaced now 670,000. The relief effort, it drags on. You just heard from the UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos saying that the roads have been cleared, a good sign, but they need more helicopters. They need more planes.
Now much of the relief effort is coming from Cebu City. Anna Coren is there. She filed this report.
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For days this staging ground for the disaster relief operation here in the Philippines has been a surprisingly small operation. Well, that changed today when the Americans arrived.
(voice-over): Here at the Cebu air base, Ospreys flew in carrying U.S. Marines to coordinate the enormous aid mission that to date has been slow and ineffective. Planes from Australia and Taiwan also landed, transporting a makeshift hospital and much needed medical supplies.
With this operation finally shifting gears, as more supplies are sent in to the disaster zone, those who have escaped the carnage and misery shared their horrific stories.
This 53-year-old woman from Tacloban huddled with her 16-year-old daughter and elderly father when the typhoon hit. She tried to hold on to them as the waters rose, but she couldn't save them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I lost my daughter, my 16-year-old daughter. I told her during the evacuation go, go, Tin Tin (ph), go. Leave, leave me and your Lo Lo (ph), but my daughter said no, mama I can't leave you. I can't leave you and Lo Lo (ph). I can't leave you.
COREN: So many of these evacuees have lived through unimaginable horror. And while they tried to protect their children, these young survivors are deeply scared by what they've witnessed.
GIRL: I've seen dead people on the streets and the sidewalks.
GIRL: Me too.
COREN: And how did that make you feel?
GIRL: It made me feel scared.
GIRL: Me too.
COREN: Why do they make you feel scared?
GIRL: Because it was very creepy that there were dead people out on the streets.
COREN: While pain and sorrow is running deep here in the Philippines, there's hope that this coordinated international relief effort will help ease some of the suffering.
Anna Coren, CNN, Cebu, The Philippines.
LU STOUT: Now there was more rain this day in many parts of the Philippines. Will this system move out of the way when? When is it going to happen? Because more rain is the last thing people in the disaster zone need.
Let's get the conditions now with Mari Ramos. She joins us from the world weather center -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, the rain was a bit more scattered throughout the day today than it had been the day before, for example. And I think as we head into tomorrow into Thursday local time I think we'll start to see conditions improve even more as far as the rain is concerned.
So let's go ahead and look at the satellite image, first of all.
Remember, we have been talking about that area of low pressure that has moved on now into the South China Sea. So what we have here is just an offshore flow coming in of moisture so that will give us some scattered rain showers moving across the area, fairly typical weather for this time of year across this region. So that is what we would expect to see.
We are looking at a band of rain that will be moving in probably Thursday, you know, later in the afternoon once the heating of the day gets going. That's where your likelihood for higher, more widespread precipitation would be in the forecast. But notice after that, just generally quiet, drier weather that will be coming in here.
But I mentioned this yesterday. And I'm going to use Tacloban again - - Tacloban again as an example. The temperatures are going to be on the rise, because now you have more sunshine, you have less clouds and the temperature goes up very, very quickly.
And this, Kristie, underscores the need for food and shelter and water for people as soon as possible, because once the temperatures begin to rise, even if it seems, you know, someone watching from home, you know, it's only one or two degrees, that's not that big of a deal. It is a big deal when you're out in the sun for a very long time. And now not even under the protection of the cloud cover that we've had over the last couple of days.
So it's, you know, one thing for the other almost that we're trading here. But I am concerned about the temperatures going up and the humidity as well. It's going to feel very, very hot and very uncomfortable for people as we go one week on now on Friday and into Saturday with these very warm temperatures that will start to appear.
Now there was a report that just came out from IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change about -- about the research that they continue to do in their discussions that they're continuing to do, Kristie. Remember we did a lot of this earlier in the year.
Well, they were talking, in particular, this time about Haiyan and about the destruction from Haiyan and how climate change may be linked to some of these things. Well, while tropical cyclones they say, you know, it's hard to link one to the other, they talked about seal level rise again. And they said that that would have made -- sea level rise, would have made the storm surge worse for some of these areas here across the eastern Philippines.
I want to show you very quickly before and after. We're looking at -- in the bay here, this is in Tacloban -- this is the before picture. And then this is the after. And can you see that? From here to here nothing but destruction. This is destruction not so much from wind, but from water. This is where the storm surge came in all throughout this area.
And we don't know how high the storm surge was. We're estimating that to be already probably close to four meters in some cases, maybe five. But it went in over 150 meters inland. And that, again, shows us over and over along this bay the destruction of the water. And as the water gets higher, of course, and sea level rise, more and more of these things will become even worse as the effects of storm surge, in this case, as we're seeing over and over right now for Haiyan.
And, you know, they're looking at things like Hurricane Sandy, Superstorm Sandy, in Long Island and Manhattan how sea level rise would have made there the situation with the storm surge even worse as well.
Kristie, back to you.
LU STOUT: All right, Mari. Thank you as always for your value added analysis drawing the link between super typhoons and our changing climate and also for giving us the forecast. Very challenging conditions ahead. Again, over 670,000 people displaced. The temperatures will be on the rise there. It's going to get even more uncomfortable for the survivors.
Let's go back to my colleague Michael Holmes -- Michael.
HOLMES: Yeah, very difficult, Kristie, to protect yourself from the elements when there is no inside left for people to shelter in.
Appreciate that, Kristie. We'll be back with you shortly.
Now, speaking of Mari Ramos, on Tuesday she showed us Tacloban City stadium, one of the few buildings there to survive the storm. I want to share a few more now of these before and after images, because they really do serve to show us the impact of what happened in the Philippines.
This is Tacloban Airport in Leyte before the typhoon hit. Now let's have a look at the after -- just look at that.
Despite the devastation, the airport has reopened for some types of planes. Crucial for getting that aid in.
And this is Tecloban's Santo Nino church. You can see there the roof intact, a beautiful building. And now the after.
The roof has almost been entirely ripped off that building.
You are watching a special edition of News Stream. Ahead this hour, the latest on recovery efforts right across the Philippines, plus the desperate conditions in storm ravaged Tacloban where the people are traumatized, supplies are running low, if not running out.
We're going to bring you the moving story, also, of one Filipino abroad trying to track down her family back home. We'll be right back.
HOLMES: Welcome back.
The official death toll in the Philippines has now risen above 2,200. But of course many, many bodies are still lining the streets in Tacloban and elsewhere in the country. The stench of death -- and it is an unforgettable smell -- fills the air as the temperatures rise. You see now body bags are starting to arrive, but not nearly enough of them.
For survivors, the situation unbearable.
(BEGIN VIDEO LCIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (subtitles): Is this what you call, OK? There's no OK. There's no OK here. All the dead bodies over there are all underneath the galvanized metal roofing and wooden debris. It stinks over there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (subtitles): The rescue team is not even coming. They said they'll get the dead bodies in three days. Why can't they do it now? That's why it stinks in here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Just terrible situation, you can imagine.
Let's go back to Kristie now in Manila. And as you've been pointing out, five days on -- I mean, people need water just to survive. I think it's two-and-a-half liters a day is at least the norm. And some of these people have had nothing for five days. It seems incredible.
We're not hearing Kristie there, unfortunately. We will continue on, though.
We are watching News Stream. And coming up after the break, for survivors in Tacloban, the desperate search for relatives continues. We'll be right back.
HOLMES: Welcome back.
The president of the Philippines has spoken exclusively to CNN about the disaster that has devastated much of his country. Benigno Aquino says the estimate that Haiyan has killed 10,000 people is, in his estimation, too much. The president believes the death toll is likely to be closer to 2,500. As we heard, it is now officially over 2,200.
He also defended the disaster response, which has attracted some criticism. He did acknowledge local officials were overwhelmed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENIGNO AQUINO, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: Our system says that the local government unit has to take care for the initial response. Unfortunately - - for instance in the case of Tacloban, police there assigned there are about 290 and only 20 of them were available when the disaster struck.
Employees of the city government have been also affected, have been tending to their own families. And there have been very few who have been reporting for work. Hence, the national government had to not just augment what the local government could do, but actually replace a lot of the personnel with personnel from other regions to take care of government's vital functions.
What hampers the effort is that the typhoon wrecked havoc on the power lines and also the communications facilities giving us immense difficulty in identifying needs and thereby dispatching the necessary relief supplies and various equipment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: OK. We've got Kristie Lu Stout back in Manila. Let's go back there.
Kristie, I'm interested in your take. You know, five days in, you know, the Philippines is a country that is used to typhoons. This was huge and really unprecedented in many ways. But a lot of people criticizing the fact that not more was done quicker.
LU STOUT: Absolutely. And there's been a lot of criticism being leveled back and forth between the local government and the national government as well. I mean, if anything if there is a lesson learned here is that there was no adequate warning about the storm surge, no forecasting perhaps available locally or that message was not given to the local authorities. I mean, just yesterday I was interviewing the wife of the mayor of Tacloban City, city councilor there, she had no idea of the devastation to be caused by the storm surge. That is something that definitely has to be addressed in the wake of this storm.
Now joining me now is the government official. And she represents her hometown of Ormoc. Now we do not have CNN correspondents there. This town has been very hard hit. So she's going to give us a very accurate picture of the level of devastation there. She joins us now.
Now Lucy Torres-Gomez of the Philippines House of Representatives, thank you so much for joining us here on CNN. Could you give us an idea of the human toll and the devastation in Ormoc.
LUCY TORRES-GOMEZ, PHILIPPINE CONGRESSWOMAN: In terms of property damage, the devastation in Ormoc is very similar to that of Tacloban. 97 to 98 percent of all the homes, all the infrastructure there are damaged. And the only silver lining is that not that much lives were lost.
But the situation is the same in the...
LU STOUT: What were the number of casualties?
TORRES-GOMEZ: Number of casualties in Ormoc City as of unconfirmed and unofficial as of the last time I checked, it was about 21.
LU STOUT: OK.
Now, you just heard then from President Aquino. He blamed local governments for the slow pace of relief. As the government representative as you will. What's your response to that?
TORRES-GOMEZ: Well, in a very abnormal situation it's very difficult to explain to people that just because help isn't getting to them just yet that the same isn't happening in isolated parts or that it isn't coming any more.
What happened then was that all the attention was in Tacloban then all the relief efforts were concentrated in Tacloban. But I think the authorities did not anticipate that the national highways would be clogged, and as such there was no way to transport the relief (inaudible) from Tacloban to Ormoc City.
So there was about four days when there were no relief (inaudible) coming at all from the national government. And for relief (inaudible) to be felt it has to be really done in a massive way.
And people were starting to get really restless and cold and wet and hungry. They were homeless. They just survived a very traumatic experience. And thankfully today C-130 planes were finally able to land in Ormoc airport.
LU STOUT: Now, there in Ormoc -- final question for you, what is your number one need on the ground? What do you need the most?
TORRES-GOMEZ: Right now, I would say it would be temporary shelter, because food is coming in, in abundance, but there isn't enough temporary shelter in the form of maybe tarpaulin cut in sheets of three by three meters or four by four meters. And you see people on the streets sleeping with just an umbrella shielding them from the cold and from the rain showers. And it is a very -- it is a very sad thing to look at.
There's also no light, no electricity, and hygiene is a real concern as well.
LU STOUT: All right, Lucy Torres-Gomez of -- representing your home town of Ormoc, thank you very much indeed for giving us a picture of the devastation there. And here's wishing you just the very best of luck as you rebuild your hometown.
Now Michael, as you heard just then, she said her number one priority is shelter, but she also addressed the question that you had at the top just then about why the government seemed to be unprepared. And it seems that Tacloban City is usually the first responder city in the wake of a typhoon, but in this instance the first responder city was knocked out, it was paralyzed because it just bore the full force of the super typhoon on Friday and there was no backup plan for that.
Back to you.
HOLMES: Yeah, that seems to be the problem. The central government had no backup plan. There was no prepositioning of supplies. And I'm struck by what you said about people not knowing about the storm surge. I remember Mari Ramos before the storm predicting the storm surge. So why word never got down to that local level is something obviously they're going to have to look at.
Kristie, we'll be back with you shortly, appreciate all of your fine reporting there.
Now let's continue to talk about Tacloban. Workers there continuing to search for bodies. We've talked about the bodies in the street. There are a lot of bodies under all that rubble as well. They've got to be found and taken away.
Now those fortunate enough to have survived the typhoon meanwhile, they are obviously struggling with the loss of loved ones as well as the lack of basic supplies. Things like food and water.
Nick Paton Walsh reports for us now from a city forever changed.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dusk hides some of Tacloban's misery, but locals must now huddle around what little they have left. The smell of death weighing heavy, so many bodies still unfound. They even hunt for them at night.
A dog has led them to this spot where Juan Chou (ph) has today watched him dig up his son and just now his daughter.
As the typhoon picked up, she suddenly stopped answering his worried text messages.
(on camera): This is not her home here, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. It's over there, that place there.
WALSH: OK. So the wind carried her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, the flood and the wind.
WALSH (voice-over): Their mother is still buried somewhere here.
(on camera): How will you rebuild?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just by working, look for a living.
WALSH (voice-over): The debris, police checkpoints, burning tires, signs the security fears, chaos mean the aid mission isn't moving yet.
People left, here turning to the church for physical shelter, not spiritual solace, counting those spared and those lost.
UNIDENTIIFED FEMALE: Granddaughter and second daughter...
WALSH (on camera): Have you found the bodies?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My daughter is missing. (inaudible) November 8 until now.
WALSH (voice-over): One repeated complaint: where is their government? It looks like the end of the world, because for so many here it was.
About 30 shelter in this shop. They found it looted before they made it home, hoping just for now, but probably for a lot longer.
(on camera): For those left behind, in many ways the nights are the hardest. Trying to find shelter in these wet skeletons of buildings where simply a few moments sleep for some is a luxury.
(voice-over): Cut off so completely, alone, they ask us to tell relatives they're safe and send this message.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't have homes. We lost our homes. And we have nothing to eat. We really need help now. I hope you are -- they are watching and you see us on TV. We really need help, because our children don't have rice, milk -- no milk, no water, no clean water. And they have fevers.
WALSH: This town, brought so close to its end by Haiyan, it's hard to imagine how they can think of beginning again.
Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Tacloban.
HOLMES: Now if you want to help the victims of the Typhoon Haiyan, and many of you already have, you can log on to our website. There is a list there of reputable charities that we have vetted. You can click on the links there to make a donation, if you like. You can also learn more about the work they are actually doing on the ground. Aid groups pouring into the Philippines at the moment. You'll find all of that information at CNN.com/impact.
Still to come here on News Stream, stories of heartbreak in the Philippines continue to come out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Juvelyn Taniega (ph) sought shelter from the storm surge in this bus with her husband and six children. She survived. They were swept away.
And has anyone come to help you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
COOPER: "I really want to see them," she says, "even if it's just their bodies."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Welcome back to News Stream. I'm Kristie Lu Stout reporting live in Manila.
HOLMES: And I'm Michael Holmes at the CNN Center in Atlanta. We of course are keeping our focus on the Philippines, but want to take a look at some other news stories for you now. The Israeli prime minister canceling plans to build more than 20,000 new homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. East Jerusalem, of course, where the Palestinians would like the capital of any future state to be. Benjamin Netanyahu says following through with the plan would likely set off international reaction that would weaken his campaign against Iran's nuclear program.
U.S. State Department is adding the Nigerian group Boko Haram to its list of foreign terror organizations. The armed groups seeks to impose a strict version of sharia law across northeastern Nigeria. The U.S. says Boko Haram has killed thousands of people since 2009. Washington's move enables it to freeze any Boko Haram assets and impose travel bans.
Hawaii now posed to become the 16th state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage. Governor Neil Abercrombie expected to sign it into law as early as the next few hours. It means gay couples could soon be saying "I do."
U.S. Airways and American Airlines reached a preliminary deal with the U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday staving off a looming anti-trust suit and paving the way for their merger, which would create the world's largest airline.
Let's go back to Manila now. Kristie Lu Stout holding down the fort there. What have you got there, Kristie?
LU STOUT: Hey, Michael. Our colleagues in Tacloban City, they have been there for days, many since the storm first made landfall. It's reporting on the scale of the devastation there, but also on the human story as well, because beyond the grim numbers and statistics are the people, the millions of people who have been affected by the super typhoon and the scores of survivors still trying to find their loved ones.
Anderson Cooper has that story.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Tacloban, the misery is beyond meaning.
This is your home?
"The first, the first" she says, "our house was one of the firsts to come down." Juvelyn Taniega (ph) sought shelter from the storm surge in this bus with her husband and six children. She survived. They were swept away.
And has anyone come to help you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
COOPER: "I really want to see them," she says, "even if it's just their bodies." She has found the body of her husband and shows us the bodies of three of her children. Now, she searches for her three other children. She doesn't believe they survived the storm.
Where will you sleep tonight?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here in the street. Anywhere. I don't know where I go.
COOPER: In Tacloban, there isn't any place to go. Juanito Martinez (ph) is living in a makeshift shelter. His wife, Gina, and daughter are covered with sacks nearby.
"I really want someone to collect their bodies," he says. "I want to know where they're taken so then I can light a candle for them."
Juanito cooks some rice and noodles for his neighbors. One of the men tells us he wants to call his mother in Manila. He's desperate to tell her that he and his daughter survived, but his wife and two other children are dead. We dial her number on our satellite phone.
"They're gone, they're all gone," he says.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mama!
COOPER: "I don't know why this happened to me."
You won't find answers here in Tacloban, you'll only find loss. You'll only find misery. With so little help that has just not gone away.
Anderson Cooper, Tacloban, Philippines.
LU STOUT: A heartbreaking report there, the cry of anguish from that one man there just absolutely chilling, absolutely haunting.
Relatives abroad are also still trying to find their loved ones and find out if they survived. The loved ones in the disaster zone. Patricia Wu filed this report from Hong Kong.
PATRICIA WU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As Super Typhoon Haiyan smashed into Tacloban destroying lives, it also broke Daisy Nemeth heart here in Hong Kong.
(on camera): So your family has lived in Tacloban for generations. How many people have you been looking for?
DAISY NEMETH, REALTIVE OF TYPHOON VICTIMS: The closest family is probably 30 or so people.
WU (voice-over): Her family's homes were about three blocks from the ocean.
NEMETH: Well, you can see the only structures that are left are like really large ones. Everything that was housing is gone.
WU: Now, Nemeth is scouring the Internet for any trace of her loved ones. Her biggest worry: the youngest members of her extended family ages four, six and eight years old.
NEMETH: I'm worried that they don't have someone with them. I'm worried that even if they are alive now that they're living in the streets. The streets are lined with decomposing bodies. I mean, it sounds terrible, but that's what reality is right now. So I have no idea.
WU: Nemeth would go search the rubble herself, but she's six months pregnant and the mother of twin toddlers. She has tried to hire someone to go search for her, but there are no takers.
Those who managed to survive the storm may not survive the aftermath. Food, water and medicine are scarce. And the threat of disease increases with each day. For Nemeth, each day could bring news. On this day, there is a glimmer of hope: she's gotten word that some members of her family are OK.
NEMETH: Sheer luck that they were found. It's not thanks to me or anyone else in my family that they were found, even though we've been working day and night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: State of national calamity.
WU: And her family's Internet search could bring more good news.
NEMETH: I guess a lot of the churches have been having services, because I know this isn't the only clip from a service. My sister has been going through just about all of them. And she happened to see my uncle in it. He's only there for a few seconds.
I'm 99 percent sure that it's him.
WU: But they don't know where the church service was or how to reach him. So the search for her beloved uncle and other missing family members continues.
In the meantime, she does what she can to cope.
Patricia Wu, CNN, Hong Kong.
LU STOUT: Now ahead on the program, I'll be talking to a reporter who went to hard hit Paolo (ph) in Leyte. And he brought back handwritten messages from survivors to share with their families outside the disaster zone. These are messages that are scrolled on bits of paper in pencil, in crayon, proof of life on paper. We'll have that story ahead right here on News Stream.
Back to you, Michael.
HOLMES: Yeah, it shows the difficulties with communications, doesn't it. Old school communicating there and a lot of relieved relatives I imagine too.
Thanks so much, Kristie. We'll be back with you there.
Meanwhile, I want to talk about iReporters who have been playing an important role in getting information out about missing friends and relatives. You can go to CNN.com/Philippinesmissing. Now Issa Nagy (ph) - - I hope I'm saying that right -- posted this message on Friday. She asked for information about her mother and other family members in Tacloban. We're happy to say that Issa (ph) has now found out her mother is safe. But she is still looking for her two brothers.
Those typhoon survivors, as we've been reporting, are hungry and desperate. Everyone wants water, everyone wants rice, anything to help keep them alive. Keeping food secure, though, has become a major issue as it does start to arrive in the places that need it most. We'll have more on that after the break.
HOLMES: Incredible scenes there.
Well, tons of international relief aid finally arriving in the Philippines. But as we've been telling you, the logistical challenges of getting it to the hungry and desperate survivors, well it's taking much longer to do.
Now more U.S. military aid has arrived in Cebu, meanwhile, along with teams from Australia, also Taiwan. On Wednesday, the United Nations humanitarian chief traveled to Tacloban to assess the need for emergency provisions. UNICEF spokesman Christopher De Bono says clearing roads and runways has taken a long time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER DE BONO, UNICEF SPOKESMAN: I think the scale of this disaster struck everyone by surprise to some extent. We knew it was coming, nobody quite was able to anticipate it. There are people who said it's the largest of these storms to hit landfall -- populated landfall (inaudible). And for the first couple of days, the focus was very intensely on trying to get the routes up -- that we need open in order to get the aid in.
That took a long time. I don't think that's anyone's fault. I think it's the geography and the devastation -- all the airports were closed...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: All right, we're going to go back now to Kristie Lu Stout standing by in Manila. Another issue that we've been touching on over the last few days and that is the security situation.
LU STOUT: That's right, it really emerged, especially given what happened today, security becoming a leading priority, concern for aid and relief workers in the aftermath of the super typhoon.
What happened was this: in hard hit Leyte Province there was a rice warehouse. Scores of people looted the rice warehouse. There was a stampede. Eight people died.
And there were security officers and police standing guard, but they watched helplessly as over 100,000 sacks of rice were just taken away. I mean, this just really underscores the need for more law and order and security on the ground in the aftermath of the super typhoon.
We've got to dig into this story now with a representative of the Philippines National Food Authority. His name is Orlan Calayag. He joins us now live.
And Orlan, just mention the details of this deadly stampede that took place earlier today. What more can you tell us about what happened and who was behind it?
ORLAN CALAYAG, NATIONAL FOOD AUTHORITY: OK. So what happened was we have a warehouse, one of our biggest warehouse in Alang Alang (ph) that is like 20 to 25 kilometers away from Tacloban City and that this is where we keep most of inventories that we saved from the last storm.
So, the people knew that we had a stack in there. And even if we were able to get the help from the Philippine National Police and our own security guards, because a lot of people came in and tried to really get all our stacks there. So they weren't able to do something about it. And eventually the warehouse, which is partially damaged, totally collapsed, and a lot of people -- as of the last report, we have heard that there were at least eight people died in that accident.
LU STOUT: And Orlan, why did this happen? Was this the result of looters who were out to profit from the rising price of rice, this valuable commodity in the disaster zone? Or is it because you have desperately hungry survivors who are waiting for food and they have to take matters into their own hands?
CALAYAG: It could be because of that, but basically people were so shocked. And some of them really thought that it will take longer before they can get the food supply, even if the government keeps assuring them that the food supply will be coming in.
And (inaudible) keeps assuring them that we have enough (inaudible) for these kind of calamities. Still, maybe because of a certain degree of insecurity they were able to really get altogether and go to the warehouse.
LU STOUT: Now -- and this is what I'm trying to understand, because you did have security there at this warehouse that was looted and where this deadly stampede took place. So what more is needed to better protect the stores of food that need to be handed out equally among the survivors? I mean, what more can be done?
CALAYAG: I think it's the number of people that came in, because we were only get -- we were only able to get a handful of PNP -- of the police and our own security guards. And because there are a lot of people who really came...
LU STOUT: So do you plan to boost security?
CALAYAG: ...extremely hard.
LU STOUT: Yeah. I can only imagine.
Orlan Calayag, spokesman of the National Food Authority, thank you so much for joining us here and telling us more about that story.
You know, very alarming stuff, Michael, to hear this happening. And it just, again, underscores why this needs to be a priority on the ground. People are getting increasingly desperate. Individuals are coming in trying to perhaps profit from the situation here. Warehouses of badly needed food are vulnerable because there are simply not enough security to protect them from incidents like this.
Back to you, Michael.
HOLMES: Yeah, and really sad that perhaps an element of crime organized crime involved in that as well.
Kristie, thanks so much, again.
Now each week we are bringing you one of the CNN's top 10 heroes of the year. Today, I want to introduce you to Katenya Ntaiya. Now in some cultures, female genital mutilation remains a gruesome rite of passage. Now this often means the end of schooling, but Kakenya refuses to accept that. The practice, now illegal in her homeland of Kenya, still does persist in some rural areas, but she is challenging that tradition giving the girls a chance to shape their own destinies. Take a look.
KAKENYA NTAIYA, FOUNDER, KAKENYA'S DREA: I avoided the ceremony as far as I could. Most of the Maasai girls undergo this mutilation when they're 12. I really liked going to school. I knew that once I go through the cutting, I'm going to be married off. And my dream of becoming a teacher was going to end. My mind said to run away, but I had to face my dad and say I will only go through the cutting if he lets me go back to school.
It was done in the morning, using a very old rusty knife with no anesthesia. I can never forget that day. Eventually, I was the first girl in my community to go to college in the U.S.. I am Kakenya Ntaiya. And I returned to my village to start a school for girls so they, too, can achieve their full potential. When girls start at our school, they are very shy, but over time, you see them very confident.
How are you girls?
UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: Fine.
NTAIYA: They are doing very well. It's the most exciting thing. Our work is about empowering the girls. These girls say no to being cut, they're dreaming of becoming lawyers, teachers, doctors. Fathers are now saying, my daughter could do better than my son.
Why should you work hard? To achieve your goals.
I came back so girls in my community don't have to negotiate like I did to achieve their dreams. That's why I wake up every morning.
HOLMES: Kakenya Ntaiya, just one of this year's top 10 CNN Heroes, one of whom will become CNN Hero of the Year and win $250,000 to further their work. And you can help decide who will receive that honor by voting online and on your mobile device at CNN Heroes.com.
Now after the break here on News Stream, stories from a city in ruins, a reporter in the Philippines helping survivors in Tacloban get word to their loved ones. Stay with us.
LU STOUT: Welcome back. You're watching News Stream. I'm Kristie Lu Stout reporting live in Manila with our ongoing coverage of the aftermath of the super typhoon. And when the Super Typhoon Haiyan struck, I mean it destroyed everything -- I mean, power lines, people's homes, lives, communication networks as well. And a number of survivors, they had to rely on just scraps of paper and crayon like this in order to write that they were still alive and you get these messages down to their families.
I have an extraordinary story now about a group of survivors who shared their messages in Paolo, Leyte (ph). And they gave their messages, these scrawled in pencil and crayon messages to GMA reporter Jiggy Manicad who joins me now.
And could you take us to that moment when you were reporting there in Paolo, Leyte (ph) and people just started to give you these messages?
JIGGY MANICAD, GMA NETWORK NEWS: Yeah, when I arrived in Paolo, Leyte (ph) that Friday night, people started to swarm around and gave me pieces of paper, because we've walked from Tacloban for about six hours just to get to the satellite setup in Paolo, Leyte (ph). And while we were walking, we were documenting everything, filming whatever messages the victims would want to convey on camera.
But when I arrived in Paolo, Leyte (ph), people started giving me these pieces of paper. Hundreds of people swarmed around me just to get their messages out of Paolo (ph) -- of Leyte to make their relatives know that they are all alive.
LU STOUT: This is what I find is amazing a bout this story, the in the immediate aftermath -- we're talking hours after the storm made landfall, one of the first things, the priorities in their mind is to somehow tell their relatives and their family members that they're OK like this note here. This is from Judith Napala (ph) saying 11 members in the family did not survive, only a few and putting down her phone number here.
MANICAD: Mobile phone number, yes.
LU STOUT: These are just absolutely touching.
And these are scraps of paper, packaging, whatever they could find.
MANICAD: Whatever they could -- I have here a small carton which says in local dialect (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) which says "we're all alive: from Palasha (ph) family."
And this note actually I got a feedback on Twitter, my Twitter account that says -- it says here we're all OK. How many families -- one, two, three, four, five -- eight families compressed in one note saying they're all OK.
And I got Twitter message that says, this is the only proof of life that they've got and they're hanging on to it. Because when I arrived -- and I went back to my station GMA News, our website GMA News online posted this on the website. And the people were able to access all this information, they typed it, the people -- our people typed it. So they were able to access all this information. And I've been receiving feedback as far as the U.S., Middle East, Japan and...
LU STOUT: You've received hundreds of these notes. You posted them online at the GMA website, which is the news organization you work for, and you've been getting an incredible response.
Jiggy, thank you so much for your reporting and for sharing these notes with us and with the world. Thank you so much.
Jiggy Manicad of GMA News there.
Back to you, Michael.
HOLMES: All right, Kristie Lu Stout there in Manila.
Now, CNN reporters also sharing some strong images from the Philippines. Go to our website, look for scenes from the field, that'll be in the editor's choice bar. I want to show you a couple of them. You can see a young boy in Tacloban right there surrounded by the destruction.
And another one, storm refugees trying to sleep in Tacloban stadium.
Terrible situation there.
You can find all of that at CNN.com.
That is News Stream for the moment, though, but the news does continue at CNN. News Room with Fionnuala Sweeney coming up in just a couple of minutes.