Daily Video

November 12, 2013

State of Emergency in Philippines After Massive Typhoon

Teachers: students may find some of these images disturbing.

The first 3:10 of this video are a story, followed by a conversation with Save the Children’s Lynette Lim.

Update: since this story aired, the official death toll has risen to 1,774

Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on Friday, causing devastation and massive loss of life centered around the eastern Philippine city of Tacloban. The storm, which is among the most powerful in history, has left 1,774 confirmed dead, though officials warn that number could reach 10,000.

The president of the Philippines declared a state of emergency as survivors wait for aid amongst the rubble of the city. Hundreds of fishermen’s huts along the coastline were flattened, and many bodies still lay in the pile of debris or have floated out to sea.

Even those in more sturdy structures were not safe. Raya al-Massira, eight months pregnant, had sheltered in a large concrete house with her father and others.

“We were not able to save our father,” she said. “It’s very sad. We were in this house because it’s big. But when the water hit, they are thrown down and they all died.”

Relief has not yet moved into Tacloban, and survivors are currently leading the recovery efforts.


Warm up questions
  1. What is a typhoon? What is the difference between a typhoon and a hurricane?
    • To watch a short tutorial on typhoons, click here.
  2. Where is the Philippines?
  3. How can you help?
    • Click here to watch and learn how you can help from the PBS NewsHour. You can also visit the PBS NewsHour website by clicking here, to read about how you can help and to learn how to connect with the humanitarian organizations.
Discussion questions
  1. Why were so many lives lost in the typhoon? (Think about geography and infrastructure)
  2. How can survivors cope with the devastating losses?
  3. How can people thousands of miles away help?
  4. How much aid should the United States send to help the people of the Philippines when we have problems of our own here at home? It is morally unjust not to help them?
  5. How could cities like Tacloban be rebuilt to better with stand future storms?
  6. Do you think that the storm was a result of global warming? Explain why and defend your answer.
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