Deadly Typhoon Haiyan Devastates the Philippines, Heads for Vietnam

Officials estimate up to 10,000 dead in the Philippines, as Vietnam braces for the worst

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Francis R. Malasig / EPA

Filipinos walk past a victim left on the side of a street in the typhoon-devastated city of Tacloban, in the Philippines' Leyte province, on Nov. 9, 2013

The Philippines is reeling on Sunday from the mass destruction caused by Supertyphoon Haiyan, which officials estimate left up to 10,000 dead, while Vietnam braces for its battle with one of the most powerful storms on record.

Vietnam authorities have evacuated 883,000 people in 11 provinces across the country, Reuters reports, citing the government’s website. Haiyan has weakened since it swept through the Philippines, but Vietnam state media report that six people were killed and dozens injured as the supertyphoon neared the coast.

In the Philippines, authorities are grappling with devastation across 36 provinces, according to the national disaster agency. Haiyan, which first hit Samar province Friday as the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, sustained winds of up to 195 m.p.h. with gusts of up to 235 m.p.h. The tsunami-like storm surge wiped out cities and towns, devastated agricultural areas and drowned thousands of people. Police chief superintendent Elmer Soria said it destroyed 70% to 80% of structures in the city of Tacloban, capital of Leyte province, which was hit the hardest.

Aid assistance has already begun, with the European Commission committing $4 million, the U.S. embassy providing $100,000 for health, water and sanitation support, and Australia announcing it would donate an initial $358,900 in relief support. British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted the U.K. will provide $9.6 million in aid, the Guardian reports. U.S. Marines stationed in Okinawa are also heading to the Philippines to assist.

The World Food Programme said it planned to airlift 40 metric tons of high-energy biscuits, emergency supplies and communications equipment.

The Philippines’ President Benigno Aquino III said the government has deployed 300 soldiers and officials to help restore order after reports of mass looting among the wreckage. Aquino said he was considering implementing martial law or a state of emergency in Tacloban as a means of security for victims.