5 Things to Know Now About Typhoon Haiyan
1. The number of children affected has risen to 4 million
© UNICEF Philippines/2013/JMaitem. A man carries his children in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines, after Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the province.
Children are the most vulnerable in disasters, and given the Philippines' large youth population, a significant proportion of the 9.5 million affected by the disaster are kids. Children who survived the typhoon need urgent assistance: clean water, sanitation, food and essential medical attention, plus ongoing psychosocial support to overcome the trauma of their experience..
2. The destruction in some places is almost total
© UNICEF Philippines/2013/JMaitem. The destruction caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda) in the city of Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines.
"People, families with children are walking along the ruined roads," says Leon Dominador Fajardo, a UNICEF Emergency Specialist on the ground in Tacloban City. "I don't know where they are going — there is nowhere to go. They are walking because their homes are gone and they have nowhere to go." In Leyte province, Typhoon #Haiyan (local name Yolanda), reportedly destroyed 70 to 80 per cent of all structures in its path.
3. Many of the survivors have lost their homes
©UNICEF Philippines/2013/JMaitem. Residents inside an evacuation camp in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines.
Some 2.8 million children may have been driven from their homes, while 100,000 children under five and 60,000 pregnant or nursing mothers are displaced. Approximately 435,000 people are inside 1,458 evacuation centers. More than 3,000 schools and 2,400 day care centres appear to be affected.
4. In Tacloban, it takes 6 hours to travel 11.2 KM
© UNICEF Philippines/2013/JMaitem. Residents survey the damage caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan in the city of Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines.
Many sea and airports were severely damaged. Downed trees, wreckage and debris have made many roads impassable. Round-trip travel on the 11.2 KM road connecting the airport to the city of Tacloban can take 6 hours. The country's geography is already a challenge to begin with: The Philippines is made up of over 7,100 islands, making emergency logistics all the more complex.
5. Clean water and sanitation are urgent priorities
© UNICEF/DENM2013-00161/Thoby. 24 hours after Typhoon Haiyan struck, the first shipment of health, medical and shelter equipment and supplies are being loaded onto trucks for transportation to Copenhagen airport.
Along with food and shelter, clean water and sanitation are critical first priorities. With many water systems and sewage treatment facilities damaged or destroyed, the possibility of diarrhea, cholera and other disease outbreaks is very real. The first shipments of supplies being airlifted by UNICEF Supply Division include water purification tablets and hygiene supplies. In addition, UNICEF is airlifting water purification and storage equipment directly to the Philippines from suppliers in Europe and Asia.